Nikola Jokic reveals he tried to intimidate Victor Wembanyama: “I told him ‘If you block one more shot, I’m going to (do) something”

Nikola Jokic’s attempt to intimidate rookie Victor Wembanyama backfired when the phenom upped his defensive intensity and blocked the “Joker” a few more times.

Nikola Jokic reveals he tried to intimidate Victor Wembanyama - Basketball Network - Your daily dose of basketball

Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic has been the NBA’s best center, if not its best player, for several years. However, the San Antonio Spurs’ 20-year-old phenom Victor Wembanyama is a rising star in his own right. He averages 21.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and a league-leading 3.5 blocks per game.

The two behemoths recently matched up at the Pepsi Center and put on a memorable show. As the two went back and forth, with Wembanyama showing off his impressive shot-blocking abilities, Jokic decided to take matters into his own hands. In an attempt to rattle the rookie’s confidence, Jokic playfully warned him that if he blocked any more of his shots, there would be consequences. However, the reaction that the “Joker” was expecting wasn’t what he received.

Tried to rattle the rookie

Wembanyama entered the league with a lot of hype and fanfare and has largely lived up to it. At such a young age, he has already established himself as a dominant big man in the game. But what Jokic didn’t anticipate was that Wembanyama wouldn’t be intimidated by his playful warning. Instead, the rookie responded by elevating his play.

“It was funny. I told him ‘If you block one more shot, I’m going to (do) something.’ But he blocked like four shots after that, so I didn’t do anything about it,” Jokic said, eliciting laughs from the press.

The Frenchman wasn’t fazed by Jokic and flirted with an extremely rare quadruple-double, producing 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, and nine blocks, most of which came at Jokic’s expense.

Jokic got his revenge

Jokic, though, showed the rookie why he already has two MVP trophies. He scored 42 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks, and more importantly, he helped the Nuggets win 110-105.

The “Joker” even got a modicum of revenge on the Frenchman. At the six-minute mark of the first quarter, Wembanyama blocked Jokic’s layup attempt and scored a putback on the other end. Jokic then leaked out in transition, received the outlet pass, and beat Wembanyama to the rim for a slam dunk.

“At least, I’m going to be aggressive, try to dunk it. Like, why not?” Jokic said of that play.

Wembanyama, though, earned Jokic’s respect after their intense match-up.

“Of course, I didn’t do a good job today. He blocked six, seven shots. But he’s a special player and you always have to do special acts to score against those guys. But I think when he learns, and he figures it out, he’s going to be an even bigger problem,” Jokic shared.

Jokic and Wembanyama represent the new age of NBA big men. No longer bruising, slow-footed centers dominate the NBA since they possess a unique blend of size and skill that makes them nearly unstoppable on the court. As Jokic continues to dominate with his playmaking abilities and Wembanyama rises through the ranks with his shot-blocking prowess, it’s clear that these two players will be at the forefront of the league for years to come.



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