Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has conquered much of the NBA to this point, and now he has his rightful place as one of the discussed NBA players in the league. The Serbian native was named the Western Conference Finals MVP after taking Denver to its first ever NBA Finals.
Amongst the scenes at Crypto.com Arena after the win, Jokic's brothers Strahinja and Nemanja were celebrating with Jamal Murray's father, a moment of joy in a long history of support the brothers have for the Nuggets.
The future is bright for Jokic, but his brothers have been with him and the game of basketball deep into the past.
The Jokic Brothers Always Support Nikola
His eldest brother, Strahinja, is 40 years old and played basketball in Europe. Less is known about Strahinja's career overseas, and even though Nikola's career in the NBA will likely outlast his career in Europe it still outshines that of his brother's. Appearing to be about the same height as his 6-foot-11 NBA brother, Strahinja is an intimidating presence.
Things haven't always been smooth for the Joker's brother, however. Strahinja ran into trouble while in the Mile High City a few years back. On Sept. 26, 2019, the brother to Jokic was arrested on suspicion of assault and false imprisonment in Denver.
Strahinja was accused of choking a woman and refusing to let her leave a downtown apartment in the city. According to a probable cause statement, an argument started between Jokic's oldest brother and the woman over her dating history. As the woman tried to call 911, Strahinja allegedly took her phone and rejected her from calling the police, but the woman was able to message someone on a computer in the bedroom and that person notified the police.
Since the incident, the two-time MVP's brother has stayed out of legal trouble and can often be spotted near the court at Denver games.
Nemanja Played College Basketball
Jokic's other brother Nemanja is a towering figure in his own right and is a former Division I basketball player. Nemanja played three seasons at the University of Detroit Mercy with the Titans from 2006 to 2009, averaging 3.3 points per game and 2.7 rebounds per game in 148 games.
While in school, Nemanja recalled having a great time. The big Serbian played with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA draft, Darko Milicic, while he was overseas. In America, Nemanja lived with Milicic and had access to all the pleasantries of an NBA player.
"I was living an NBA player's life," Nemanja told Sports Illustrated. "I was throwing the best parties on campus - at his house."
Nemanja enjoyed the lifestyle until Milicic was traded to Orlando and he landed in a campus dorm.
"I made mistakes," Nemanja said. "When I was young, basketball wasn't my No. 1 priority. Going out, having fun, drinking, girls, that was my No. 1 priority. I was making my own decisions - 'I'm not going to practice' - when I still needed family support. That's what I was missing."
The Jokic Brothers Are Jokers and Instigators
The Jokic brothers were letting Jack Nicholson hear it as he left Game 3 ? pic.twitter.com/qR2DG5Kh1N
— MyBookie - Bet With The Best (@MyBookie) May 22, 2023
As a duo, the brothers have found plenty of people to go after while sitting in the stands at Denver games. After Game 3 of the Lakers-Nuggets series, the two heckled Jack Nicholson as he exited the court.
"See you next year!" the brothers barked while flashing smiles in a sea of sad Lakers fans.
Both Nemanja and Strahinja are as good at celebrating as they are at talking. After Game 4, the brothers lifted Denver coach Michael Malone into the air as he walked away from the court.
"After I was done on the court, I went over to the stands to find them. All of a sudden, they come running out of the stands. Next thing you know I'm in the air and as my daughters told me I look like a little kid in their arms," Malone told Scott Van Pelt.
Jokic Brothers lifting up Michael Malone. ??
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 23, 2023
The celebrations and mocking of the Western Conference Finals were made of good and fun nature, but that hasn't always been the case with the brothers and their opponents.
In the second round of the postseason in 2021, Suns guard Devin Booker and Jokic came face to face after the Nuggets center fouled Cameron Payne. Sitting courtside, Strahinja and Nemanja were kept off the court by security while they yelled at Booker for getting near their brother.
This angle of Jokic?s brothers during his run-in with Booker ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 15, 2021
Booker was just one player, and there are two brothers of Jokic. In a different twist, the inactive Strahinja and Nemanja found themselves beefing with active NBA brothers in Markieff and Marcus Morris.
The history started on Nov. 8 of 2021, when frustration turned into a physical altercation. Down 111-94 to Denver, Miami Heat forward Markieff Morris fouled Jokic at half court as he dribbled the ball up. Taking exception to Morris' body collision, Jokic charged into the Miami forward as he walked away. Ultimately, the NBA handed Denver's starting center a one-game suspension and Morris was fined $50,000.
Brother to Markieff, Clippers forward Marcus Morris found himself in the mix after the incident, tweeting "waited till bro turned his back smh. NOTED," the post read.
In response, the Jokic brothers created a Twitter account of their own, posting the following morning on the new profile.
"You should leave this the way it is instead of publicly threatening our brother! Your brother made a dirty play first . If you want to make a step further be sure we will be waiting for you !! Jokic Brothers," the since-deleted tweet stated.
Denver is in the midst of an NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. The stories inside the lines are all set. Can Jokic be one of the first second-round picks to lead a team to a championship? What will this mean for his legacy? We get it.
No matter what happens, Jokic's brothers will be there to support their youngest sibling, and NBA fans that appreciate the craziness around the game should look forward to seeing what the giant brothers will get involved in next.
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