Nikola Jokic has had a media tour unlike those usually seen from a Finals MVP.
It certainly wouldn't be hard for him to bask in the glory of it all. Jokic's performance in leading the Denver Nuggets to the franchise's first title was historic -- he became the first player in NBA history to lead all players in points, rebounds, and assists in a single postseason. There wasn't a reporter in the building on Monday who didn't want the center's attention come the final buzzer.
But attention seemed like the thing Jokic wanted least. With the nonchalance of a man who can now go home, the Serbian star has dealt with the media spotlight throughout the week with a measured calmness. Here are the best moments of his straightforward handling of this week's final blitz of attention:
No place like home
Jokic: "The job is done; we can go home now."— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) June 13, 2023
Jokic's first thoughts after completing a historic run for both himself and his team? That he could get back home now. Jokic's job was to get the Nuggets the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and it was a job completed -- as Nuggets fans have come to expect in just about all aspects of the center's performances -- with clinical efficiency.
Popping champagne in the locker room is almost as much of a tradition for recently crowned champions as lifting the trophy, a tradition that the Nuggets didn't skip out on. Jokic, however, seemed somewhat unprepared for the customary spraying of champagne, caught on film taking a swig from the bottle before putting it down, somewhat confused as to what to do next. Eventually, he did give it a half-hearted shake.
No parade, no complaints
Jokic is just trying to go home 😅 pic.twitter.com/pYhcA5e1MY— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 13, 2023
The story of Jokic's return timetable didn't fade quickly. After the game, Jokic was asked if he was looking forward to the customary celebratory parade. For most players, this is a cut-and-dry "yes" -- it's a ticker tape celebration traversing the length of the city, all in your honor. Who wouldn't want that? Jokic, apparently. Ever unenthused, the center briefly put his head in his hands before deadpanning "No. I need to go home."
Joker's last hurrah
After his initial reaction to the championship parade date, you'd be forgiven for wondering if Jokic would even show up Thursday morning. Show up he did, however, and confirmed that he had come around on enjoying the parade. Addressing an enthusiastic crowd of Nuggets faithful, Jokic's final expletive-punctuated statement before his presumed departure back to Serbia left Denver in cheers.