Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is an NBA champion, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, and a two-time NBA MVP. He is one of the best basketball players of his generation, and if his former teammate, Austin Rivers, was right on the Bill Simmons Podcast, we may only get to watch him for a few more years.
Free agent guard Austin Rivers is doing more podcasting than playing these days, and he recently joined his new boss from The Ringer podcast network, Bill Simmons, to discuss all things NBA.
During the conversation, Simmons asked Rivers about Nikola Jokic, who Rivers played with on the Nuggets from 2020-22.
“How long do you see Jokic playing?” Simmons asked. “Do you see him being one of those guys who’s like 39 and just kind of holding on?”
Before Simmons even finished his question, Rivers shook his head dramatically and said, “Nope. No chance.”
“I have him playing another five, six years,” Rivers responded. “I don’t think he really gives a s**t about the American pop culture and trends and like fame and relevance. Those things just don’t interest him, like really deeply to the core. And the things that do interest him aren’t those things.”
“No chance… I have him playing another 5-6 years… I have him playing until like 34-35… I don’t see him hanging around.”
Austin Rivers doesn’t believe Nuggets star Nikola Jokic will play in the NBA into his late 30s. Do you agree?
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 21, 2023
Rivers also told a story about Jokic about the Nuggets big man leaving just two days after the season when they lost in the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors.
The free-agent guard did some math about Jokic recently signing a new supermax extension and how old he will be after one more massive deal before deciding that “by 35, maybe 36, I think he’s gone.
A lot of this stems from Jokic’s reaction after winning the NBA championship. He got upset about having to attend the victory parade and bemoaned not being able to get back to his native Serbia sooner to watch his horses race.
So, the moral of the story here is to enjoy the brilliance of Nikola Jokic while you can, because he may not be in the NBA for much longer.
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