Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić details offseason work and preparation for upcoming 2021-22 campaign

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyroNBA

As the temperatures drop and the colors begin to change, the first official day of the Fall season is another reminder that the 2021-22 NBA season is right around the corner. Another effective reminder? Players returning to their respective team cities to unofficially kick off the season through media days.

With teams beginning training camps next week and the first preseason game for the Denver Nuggets less than two weeks away on Oct. 4, the ramp-up continues for another fresh start and a crack at a championship.

Led by the 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokić, this year’s Mile High Basketball squad will look extremely similar to the 2020-21 team, with new additions in Jeff Green and rookie Bones Hyland highlighting the team’s offseason activity.

However, it all begins and ends with the Serbian big man, who spoke to the media earlier today ahead of the team’s training camp. From his love of feeding horses to his offseason workouts, no topic was left uncovered as the three-time All-Star detailed the work he has put in to be ready for the upcoming season.

The highlight of the summer? The incoming baby that will be joining the Jokić family in the near future.

(The second highlight? Jokić’s horse won 15-20 races this summer, in case you were wondering).

The offseason was full of excitement and success but involved the work one would expect from the reigning MVP who is looking to maintain and even exceed his level of play from last year.

“I found a recipe and I'm just sticking to it,” Jokić said when asked about his offseason work. “So, there's nothing different than the last year. Hopefully, it (this season) is going to be a good as last year.”

The results have already been seen through the photos and videos of Jokić’s various workouts in and around Denver over the past several weeks, and the Serbian’s teammates have spoken about the work that Jokić has put in ahead of this season.

“It feels like he didn’t stop from last season,” Vlatko Čančar said of Jokić’s work and preparation. “He just tries to get better day by day.”

During scrimmages, it’s no surprise then to hear about Jokić taking control and showcasing what made him win league MVP last season. Even Čančar had to jokingly point out that “He’s just on another level. He shouldn’t be playing with us. It was just unfair.”

Meanwhile, Hyland revealed that he and Jokić have been having plenty of success in some of those scrimmages.

“We were playing together for five games,” Hyland said Tuesday. “We didn’t lose. It looked like 2K. You could just tell the connection. It was clicking instantly. They put me on a different team because it was just too easy, honestly.”

All of this stems back to Jokić’s under-the-radar approach to the game and life as an NBA superstar. The 26-year-old big man has no vision of living the celebrity lifestyle, instead opting to quietly go about his offseason back in Serbia as he prepares for another grinding season.

Leave it to Hyland to perfectly encapsulate Jokić’s approach to the game when explaining some of his initial impressions of the reigning MVP.

“You would never know that he won MVP,” Hyland said. “Just the way he carries himself, it’s like he’s grinding for another MVP, or he’s grinding for that next contract. He’s 1 of 1 for sure.”

As Jokić said himself when discussing his approach to offseason workouts, if the recipe works, just stick to it.

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