Nikola Jokić May 16, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) looks on in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No one will ever call Nikola Jokić “fat boy” again.

The two-time MVP, who led the Denver Nuggets to their first NBA Championship Tuesday night, has a well-documented back story of humble origins. Mid-second-round pick in 2014, with low expectations … and many analysts and fans thought he had a weight problem.

Jokić is not a boastful guy — even when he was making history in the NBA Playoffs with absurdly crooked numbers in his triple-doubles, he shrugged them off. But he did some playful boasting in an interview Tuesday with ESPN’s Malika Andrews. She pointed out his NBA rags-to-riches story, including the fact that when the Nuggets drafted him, ESPN was airing a Taco Bell commercial during his selection.

Jokić smiled at the memory.

“They didn’t believe in the fat boy,” Jokić said. “It seems like it worked out. Don’t bet against the fat boy.”

Jokić has had a few chances to show his fun side since the Nuggets finished out the NBA Finals with a win over the Miami Heat Monday night. Afterward, he and wife Natalija turned daughter Ognjena loose with Jokić’s NBA Finals and MVP trophies

Jokić averaged 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists per game in the NBA Finals.

[Malika Andrews, ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.