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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Nikola Jokic: NBA MVP to join Serbia at Olympic Games 2024

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic has been named on Serbia’s roster for the Paris Olympic Games 2024 basketball tournament.

Jokic had been non-committal about appearing at the Games but has been included on a 16-player list by head coach Svetislav Pesic.

The 29-year-old had been expected to join his national team but there were doubts over an injury he continues to carry to his shooting wrist, while Pesic had played down talk of Jokic being involved.

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Following the end of his NBA season with the Denver Nuggets, Jokic was quoted by NBA reporter Ryan Blackburn to have said of the Olympics: “I don’t know… we will see. I need to think about it.”

Olympic Games 2024: Serbia to face USA

Serbia face a testing group at the Games including odds-on title favourites the USA, South Sudan and the winners of a pre-Olympic tournament.

The two-time world champions have never won the tournament but took silver in 1996 and on their last appearance, in 2016, when Jokic did not play.

Their training camp begins on June 24, with several warm-up matches planned during July.

 

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Charlotte Hornets pair Vasilije Micic and Aleksej Pokusevski and Atlanta Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic will be among Jokic’s team-mates.

Serbia are third-favourites to triumph, having lost to Germany in the final of the 2023 World Cup.

Jokic hailed by Pesic

Pesic lavished praise upon Jokic earlier this month, saying his participation would “certainly mean something in every sense”.

“[That’s] from both the aspect of his individual quality and from the aspect of personality that Jokic is,” Pesic told Politika, via Eurohoops.

“When I say that Jokic is a better guy than he is a player, they all faint. Like, ‘you’re courting Jokic.’ Of course I’m courting him, because I want to point that out.”

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