Nikola Jokic did it all in the Denver Nuggets’ 134-116 win over the Pelicans Monday night, including conducting both sides of his postgame interview.
Jokic put up 35 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in the win, which moved him past LeBron James and Jason Kidd and into fourth place on the list of career triple-doubles with 108. But his most impressive performance may have come in the postgame press conference.
The Nuggets big man started with, “I can just talk because I know what you’re going to ask,” and proceeded to provide answers to the reporters’ unasked questions.
Yes, rookie Julian Strawther had an impressive game, scoring 21 points. Yes, the Nuggets felt confident playing with Collin Gillespie (six points and two steals in 17 minutes), but the rookie could be more aggressive offensively.
The Nuggets were happy with their third quarter, where they outscored New Orleans 40-21 and had 10 assists after they didn’t move the ball as well in the first half. Their focus was better in the second half and showed in their 75-45 advantage.
The presser showed Jokic’s basketball smarts and playfulness but also showed Jokic’s love of going home when he’s done playing basketball. It was a fun interview, and it also saved Jokic precious minutes that he could spend watching horses. Look, if Jokic doesn’t have time to see Deion Sanders and Colorado, he definitely doesn’t have time for predictable questions.
Jokic and the Nuggets haven’t shown any post-championship hangover so far. They’re 7-1, with five of those wins by double-digits and three by 20 or more points. They’ve been winning so comfortably that Jokic apparently has plenty of time in the fourth quarter to write and respond to his own media questions.
The Joker is putting the league on notice. And he’s putting some Denver reporters out of a job.