Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, believes that Nikola Jokic is Larry Bird in a 7-foot frame following a stellar 2022 NBA campaign.
Nikola Jokic came to the forefront of the 2021-22 NBA MVP race following both Steph Curry and Kevin Durant missing an extensive amount of games due to injury. With his 2nd and 3rd scoring options in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr out nearly all season long, it’s safe to say that the Nuggets would not be sniffing the Playoffs if not for Jokic.
There isn’t enough that could be said about Nikola Jokic that would do him justice as he’s been put on one of the most high IQ regular season performances of all time. Everything from his passing vision to the improved quality of shots he’s taken, Jokic is actually better now than what he was last year.
The Serbian basketball player actually won the MVP last season but couldn’t care less about the award. While Joel Embiid panders to the media about what more he could do to get their vote for 2022 MVP, Jokic tells reporters that he genuinely doesn’t know where his trophy from last season is.
Steve Kerr on Nikola Jokic and Larry Bird.
“Oh my god, Larry knows my name,” was the first reaction Steve Kerr had after getting greeted by Larry Bird in their first meeting ever on NBA hardwood. Kerr holds the ‘Hick from French Lick’ in high regard and so him throwing out comparisons between him and any player who plays today is quite the compliment.
Steve Kerr on Nikola Jokic:
“He’s like (Larry) Bird in a 7-foot frame.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 14, 2022
There has been discourse on comparisons between white players and guys like Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki. NBA fans feels as though white players get compared to other white players exclusively for that same reason and not for the way they play the game.
However, a comparison between Nikola Jokic and any other player in the history of the league would be inaccurate to some degree as no one has ever played the game the way Jokic does. His passing out of the post doesn’t just rival what guys like Shaq did, it blow them out of the water.
Couple his passing with his floor spacing and floaters in the paint and you have a guys who’s a mix of Magic, Shaq, and Dirk in all the right ways.