Nikola Jokić is living his best life.
Kevin Durant recently said that the Nuggets big man and newly crowned NBA champ doesn’t “want or care to be a star.” While Jokić has turned into one, his championship celebration should show he’s just like us — just a lot taller and way more talented.
In the aftermath of the Nuggets’ Game 5 win over the Heat, the Finals MVP had a noteworthy celebration. From his humble on-court proceedings to his bouts with a bottle of champagne, there were no shortage of postgame highlights that matched his on-court ones.
From a lot (a LOT) of text messages to a little dip in the pool with Jamal Murray, here are the high points of Jokić’s celebration:
Humble post-game speech
We’ll start with the tamest of it all. Jokić made it very clear that the Nuggets’ championship win wasn’t for for him, but for the players next to him. A humble, backseat approach to winning a championship fit Jokić’s everyman demeanor so perfectly.
“We are not winning for ourselves.
We are winning for the guy next to us.
I’m winning for Jamal & everyone else, and they are winning for me.
We believe in each other & the relationship that we have.” -Nikola Jokic
To win championships, you first must build relationships.… pic.twitter.com/UWWQHKbmtw
— The Winning Difference (@thewinningdiff1) June 13, 2023
“We are not winning for ourselves, we are winning for the guy next to us,” Jokić said postgame. “And that’s why this is even more — because I was winning for Jamal (Murray). Jamal was winning for AG (Aaron Gordon). That’s how it goes. This is a great group of people, a great group of teammates.
“We believe in each other, the relationship that we have. Yes, trophies mean something, but I think we have some relationships that will go longer, even after we finish our careers.”
‘Oh, mother f—’
Things got (proportionally) wild for Jokić following the game, when he got text messages from seemingly the entirety of his home country of Serbia, potentially including tennis star Novak Djokovic, which drew a hilarious reaction when he saw his lock screen at the postgame dais.
Nikola Jokic’s reaction to seeing how many text messages that he had received after winning the NBA Finals 🤣pic.twitter.com/oJ0y6cz94N
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 13, 2023
“I’m going to see if he (Novak Djokovic) texted me, no?,” Jokić said while pulling out his phone. “I don’t know, I mean — oh, mother f—,” Jokić said.
As for how many texts he had?
“A lot. A lot. I’m going to turn off the phone.”
(Maybe they were just trying to reach him about his car’s extended warranty.)
Rain on the parade?
A championship parade in Denver this time of year sounds lovely — for just about everyone but Jokić, apparently.
When asked if he was looking forward to the Nuggets’ championship parade set for this week, Jokić made it pretty clear that he wasn’t all in on the idea.
Nikola Jokic was asked if he was looking forward to a championship parade…
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 13, 2023
“No — I need to go home,” he said.
Nuggets’ next big rival: Champagne.
There is only one man who can stop Nikola Jokić. His name is Dom Perignon.
Typically, more champagne is sprayed than is consumed during championship celebrations. Jokić took the opportunity to imbibe some, but lost interest when it came to trying to crack open a new bottle.
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) June 13, 2023
Most relatable champion ever pic.twitter.com/kEJM2VBEWr
— Dorsey Shaw (@dorseyshaw) June 13, 2023
Eventually, Jokić lost the series to the champagne, instead opting for some Michelob Ultra instead.
Jokic said pic.twitter.com/LZGuWLo2zk
— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) June 13, 2023
Beer bath for KCP
If it wasn’t clear that Jokić was the consummate teammate, he made a point to make sure Kentavious Caldwell-Pope didn’t waste more time on the podium than was needed.
Jokić crashed KCP’s media availability and poured a can of beer over his head to get him to head back to the locker room and celebrate, which sounds way more fun than speaking in generalities during a postgame press conference.
Jokic kicked KCP out of the press room by pouring beer on his head 😂 pic.twitter.com/mUznyfoj3T
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 13, 2023
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin would be proud of the beer bath.
While Jokić and running mate Jamal Murray are swimming in accolades following their championship win, they took it a bit more literal of a level.
Cameras caught Jokić doing to Murray what he usually does to players in the paint: Bullying him and having his way with a smaller player, eventually tossing the guard into a pool somewhere behind the Nuggets’ locker room.
Jokic throws Jamal Murray into the pool 😭 pic.twitter.com/h75zpzEgHm
— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2023
The slo-mo shot of the tackle is even better.
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) June 13, 2023
If this is just the start of a Nuggets dynasty, then it’ll be fun to watch how Jokić’s celebrations evolve — or devolve — from here.