Arrêtez tout, Boris Diaw est l'un des modèles de Nikola Jokic

Arrêtez tout, Boris Diaw est l’un des modèles de Nikola Jokic

What is the greatest reward after being voted MVP? May the MVP cite you among his sources of inspiration. It’s sort of a small victory by proxy. This Wednesday, May 11, five years after his retirement, Boris Diaw received a warm big up from Nikola Jokic, who mentioned him alongside Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs – Eastern Europe connection is brilliant.

“Nikola, I’ll check, but I think it’s the first time in his history that the MVP trophy has been given to a stable in Serbia”. In one sentence, Ernie Johnson sets the scene beautifully. This interview is unlikely. Sitting on a small wooden chair, in front of his stable in Sombor – a town located in the autonomous province of Vojvodina – Nikola Jokic answers questions from ESPN. This guy in shorts / white t-shirt is the fifth NBA 5 position to achieve the back-to-back MVP. There was Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, and now him. In an ironic tone – played very seriously – Jokic asks: “Oh, Shaq didn’t?” ». It feels the blow in the muzzle this story. At almost 10,000 kilometers, Ernie Johnson obviously does not understand the second degree of the Serb and maintains that no, Shaquille O’Neal has never managed the back-to-back MVP. ” I’m kidding. Whatever he wants to do, just kidding. He’s a great player. I just wanted to make a joke” replies Jokic, seeing that his rooming has gone by the wayside. The interview – already legendary – then takes a completely different turn. The image shows one of Nikola Jokic’s first licenses, all brat, and Ernie Johnson asks him: “At that age, where did you get your inspiration, which player of the time were you trying to imitate? »

“At that age, I didn’t think I was playing basketball. I was here at the stable. I washed the boxes and the horses. So at that age I didn’t think about basketball at all, I’m not going to lie. In fact, I knew how to play basketball when I was thirteen or fourteen. I was there for six months and then my father convinced the coach to keep me. – Nikola Jokic, for ESPN

A very interesting first response, but not the one expected for Ernie Johnson. The presenter does not budge: “And when you started taking basketball seriously, who was your role model? ».

“When I came to the NBA, Tim Duncan. I think he’s a great player, someone you can look up to, someone you can look up to as an idol. But I’ve always looked for that something in guys who aren’t flashy. Like Dirk, LaMarcus Aldridge, Boris Diaw. – Nikola Jokic, for ESPN

A double MVP who sets one up for Babac? The pride is immense. Born in 95, Nikola Jokic was therefore inspired by the MIP of the 2005-06 season. Well, the Serb was only eleven at the time, so he must be talking about the Boris Diaw sailing between the Charlotte Bobcats and the San Antonio Spurs. The term used fits perfectly with the label of the French station 4: “not flashy”. In a register as discreet as it is effective, Babac won the title in 2014 alongside Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. His legacy left as role player, game facilitator and point of support for rolling out the systems, is exceptional. A golden arrow in the quiver of coaches who crossed his person. But it remains extremely rare that a current player cites him among his sources of inspiration. There is this European side that Nikola Jokic shares, but above all – and mentioning it is inevitable – the lifestyle. Two bon vivants who play basketball as they see fit, and for whom media pressure is not secondary, but well outside their field of consideration. If they are criticized? Radio silence, it works in the shadows. They have both been successful – all things considered – and apply the same philosophy: at the top without ever putting themselves forward.

“When I’m fat and old and grumpy, hopefully I’ll remember that and be able to tell my kids about the days when I played really good basketball. » – Nikola Jokic, for ESPN

It is not known if he is thinking about politics for his post-career retraining, but Nikola Jokic has just won 80% legitimacy with the French who supported the candidacy of Joel Embiid. It’s strong.

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