Nikola Jokic is an NBA champion for the first time in his career, delivering one of the great playoff runs in NBA history on his way to a Finals MVP and Denver’s first ever NBA championship.
However, after the game the celebration from Jokic was fairly muted. He was clearly happy about winning the title, but it seemed as much a relief that the season was over as much as it was jubilation to be a champion. In his walk-off interview, he responded to Lisa Salters‘ question about how it feels to be a champion “the job is done, we can go home now.”
He was apparently not joking about his plans to immediately head back to Serbia, where he spends his offseasons with his horses, family, and friends (I believe in that order). In his postgame interview at the podium, Jokic was informed that the Nuggets championship parade is not until Thursday and he looked like a man who just found out he has to change some non-refundable travel plans — “No, I have to go home.”
Nikola Jokic finding out when the parade will be, and saying he wants to go home ? pic.twitter.com/8umJGSiu8m
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) June 13, 2023
This is the face of a man who spent his whole weekend telling himself Monday was his last day of work for the whole summer if he got the job done, only to learn after taking business that he can’t leave until Friday. The reason? You guessed it, his horse is racing on Sunday.
“On Sundays, I have my horse racing” ☠️
Even after being crowned champion, The Joker is only worried about one thing ?? pic.twitter.com/n3VmVZzk3I
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 13, 2023
Adding to Jokic’s tough night of revelations at the podium was him trying to see if Novak Djokovic text him to congratulate him, only to see his phone blowing up and tossing it aside in disgust.
Jokic checks his phone to see if Novak Djokovic texted him, scrolls for a few second
“How many texts do you have”
Jokic: “a lot, I’m going to turn off the phone” pic.twitter.com/Ic4AaDnNtw
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) June 13, 2023
Jokic’s postgame celebration wasn’t all looking gloomy at the fact that he still has to work or respond to a bunch of texts, as he did tackle Jamal Murray into the pool in the training room, looking very happy about it all.