NBA Fans Having Heated Debate on Whether Nikola Jokic Joins the Top 5 Centers of All Time List with a Championship
Nikola Jokic has been delivering an extraordinary performance in the 2023 postseason, bringing the Denver Nuggets within striking distance of their first NBA championship. The Serbian player has been producing remarkable statistics, boasting incredible averages of 30.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game throughout these playoffs.
Barring a remarkable comeback by the Miami Heat from a 3-1 deficit, it appears highly likely that Jokic will secure the championship. As a result, NBA fans have engaged in discussions about whether this achievement would solidify his place as one of the top five centers in the history of the game.
Fans debate about Nikola Jokic
No. He becomes Top 6. He enters Moses Malone territory.
He still doesn’t pass Wilt, Shaq, Russell, Hakeem, Kareem.
— The NBA Realist (@nbarealist23) June 11, 2023
already top 5
— ⌖ (@fevndi) June 11, 2023
Ya but no where near #1 #2 or #3. Lotta work to do. Career totals wise. His peak this last 4 years in insane though.
— Geoffrey A. Fields (@Gmoney__23) June 11, 2023
Keeps playing like this for many more years and he will be a top five *player* of all time.
— Yoshia (@YBmtbbc) June 11, 2023
He's top 10. He needs more rings to be top 5.
— The Global Beat 🌎 (@the_globalbeat) June 11, 2023
The center position is widely recognized as one of the most challenging positions to secure a spot in the top five. Although Jokic would have an impressive resume featuring two MVP awards, a Finals MVP, and a championship, his credentials still fall short compared to those typically considered the greatest at his position.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 6x title, 2x Finals MVP, 6x MVP
Bill Russell: 11x title, 5x MVP
Wilt Chamberlain: 2x title, 1x Finals MVP, 4x MVP
Shaquille O’Neal: 4x title, 3x Finals MVP, 1x MVP
Hakeem Olajuwon: 2x title, 2x Finals MVP, 1x MVP, 1x DPOY
Bill Russell missed out on winning the Finals MVP award because it was introduced only in his final season, otherwise, he would have likely accumulated several of them. If Jokic manages to secure multiple championships like the esteemed players before him, then he would undoubtedly be included in the conversation surrounding the greatest centers of all time.
NBA analyst on Jokic’s greatness
Jokic faced a fair share of criticism before this remarkable playoff run, with some doubting his ability to perform at a high level in the postseason. However, he has emphatically silenced those detractors, and former NBA player Jay Williams believes Jokic is well on his way to becoming the greatest center in NBA history.
Williams commended Jokic as the most skilled offensive big man to ever grace the game, and this assertion is hard to dispute. Jokic possesses a diverse skill set on offense, showcasing his ability to excel in all facets of the game. Despite occasional scrutiny about his defense, Jokic has displayed a respectable level of performance on that end of the court during these playoffs as well. It has been an absolute pleasure to witness his dominance throughout these games, and hopefully, he can maintain this exceptional level of play for several more years.