After sweeping LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals earlier this week, the Nuggets are off to their first NBA Finals with a legitimate chance to conquer the title. However, former player Gilbert Arena recently ranted about how Denver’s lack of marketability will eventually mean that no one will really care if they win the league.
The ex-Wizards star joined JJ Redick on his “The Old Man & The Three” podcast and mostly discussed how the league can create a connection with the ever-changing modern consumers. This was exactly the moment when Arena said he never sees Nikola Jokic becoming a ‘megastar’ in the NBA.
“You know Jokic can win this championship. No one’s going to care. Let’s just be honest. I’m sorry. He’s not gonna go from where he is right now to this super megastar because he’s not doing anything kids want to see. It’s the players, their personality. You know Jokic is great, but he doesn’t have IT,” he explained.
Arenas believes it was the same case as Spurs legend Tim Duncan, saying that fans found San Antonio’s winning-dynasty as ‘boring’, even after earning five NBA rings.
The Serbian’s style of play might be slow, but no other player has proved to be as clever on the floor than him. Is the league only promoting players who display amazing poster dunks and dribble around their rivals?
No doubt that many will be happy to see the Denver franchise win their first-ever title, but we can’t help but agree that the NBA is slowly becoming more an entertainment business than an actual competitive sport, and that the two-time league MVP currently doesn’t even own a top 10-selling jersey in the NBA.
Most experts and analysts disagree with Arenas, and actually believe Jokic might eventually become a GOAT contender
NBA legend Magic Johnson appears to believe quite the opposite than Gilbert Arenas. He was one of the first to shower praise on the Serbian big man after disappearing LeBron James from this season’s map.
“Congratulations to Nikola Jokic for being named the Earvin Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP and averaging 27 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 11.3 assists for the series!” Magic celebrated Jokic.
The Hall of Famer then went on to compare the Nuggets center with the greats.
“The Joker is changing the game of basketball right before our very eyes, much like Michael [Jordan], Larry [Bird], LeBron [James], Steph [Curry], Kobe [Bryant], Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], and Shaq [O’Neal],” Magic added.
Check out stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and LeBron James show their admiration for The Joker in the video below:
ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson was another to recently compare him with some of the best to ever grace a basketball court. “If (Nikola) Jokic is able to win a championship this year and continue the numbers he’s putting up, It will be 1, 2, or 3 – pick it – greatest run we’ve ever seen,” the former NBA Champion expressed.
“He’s averaging a 30-point triple-double right now…He’s beaten (Devin Booker and Kevin Durant), and he’s beaten the (Los Angeles) Lakers. Show me another run from start to finish,” he concluded about the player who is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per match this 2022/23 playoffs.