Nikola Jokic wore Denver Nuggets gear 23 years ago

Stephen A., JJ Redick get heated during Nikola Jokic debate (3:37)

Stephen A. Smith and JJ Redick heatedly debate whether Nikola Jokic is the most skilled big man in NBA history over players such as Shaquille O'Neal. (3:37)

Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic is not new to this, he's true to this.

By "this" we clearly mean Jokic's affiliation with the team he just led to an NBA title.

For those of you who are late to the party, his agent, Misko Raznatovic, took to Instagram in 2022 to share a photo of a 5-year-old Jokic donning a Nuggets sweatshirt in the now 28-year-old's hometown of Sombor, Serbia. Alongside the image, Raznatovic conveyed an unlikely story of how the eventual two-time NBA MVP -- who had just signed a landmark $272 million contract extension with the Nuggets -- came into possession of the Denver merch some 23 years ago.

Raznatovic acknowledged that the "chances of a kid from a small Serbian town having a sweatshirt from a lesser known American team back in 2000 were minimal" and that the "chances of anyone knowing about the Nuggets in a small Serbian town were next to nothing."

We would argue those chances were on par with said kid growing up to lead the lesser-known American team in question to its first-ever championship while becoming the lowest draft pick in NBA history to earn Finals MVP honors.

The Nuggets later shared a photo of Jokic holding the old photo with the caption, "born to be a nugget."

To add another layer of destiny-laced innuendo, the photo was taken the same year that Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke closed a deal to buy the franchise -- which was coming off a 35-47 record in the 1999-2000 season, having missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year -- along with the Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center, which is now Ball Arena.

You know, the butterfly effect and all that.