The Denver Nuggets are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time in the franchise’s history, with arguably the best player the team has ever had leading the way in the form of two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
With the Nuggets blowing away the competition in the regular season and continuing that dominance throughout the NBA playoffs, Jokic has received a lot of credit for the team’s success, and rightfully so, as he’s been, without a doubt, the best player in the postseason.
As Jokic continues to add to his legacy, the 28-year-old is starting to get mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest players of all time, with former NBA head coach George Karl claiming the face of the Nuggets is now better than Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.
A former pro hoops owner told me this week Jokic is the most complete offensive player he’s ever seen.
I give him a slight nod there over Bird because of his passing skills. And there is a ton of Sabonis and Duncan in his game.
But I do think Jokic is one of one. pic.twitter.com/8QNTdvPXyi
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) May 26, 2023
From a skill set perspective, Karl might be right that Jokic has surpassed Bird with the way he plays on the basketball floor, but legacy-wise, he’s still a few steps behind.
Bird is a three-time NBA champion, three-time NBA MVP, and two-time NBA Finals MVP, which tops Jokic in each category.
Obviously, Bird had the advantage of having an incredible supporting cast during his time with the Celtics playing alongside legends like Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Bill Walton.
Although Jokic is playing with some talented players right now, especially Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, they have a long way to go before being in the same category as the Celtics greats mentioned, which means this overall debate may be premature.NEXT: Nikola Jokic Shares A Powerful Message About Basketball And Family