Nikola Jokic has become the most dominant offensive force in the NBA right now.
So, it’s only natural that he’s following the footsteps of a former dominant beast from back in the day.
When asked who did he model his game after, Jokic revealed that he grew up looking up to Shaquille O’Neal, who was humbled by that confession.
.@realgranthill33: "Growing up overseas, who were the guys that you wanted to pattern your game after?"
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 2, 2023
Needless to say, Jokic and Shaq aren’t similar players by any means.
Shaq made the most of his unmatched athleticism, strength, and raw power to bully his way to the rim and swat shots into the stands.
However, like Jokic, he was also a graceful passer with a high basketball IQ, and he was more than capable of leading the break and putting the ball on the court.
Also, even though this part of his game isn’t mentioned as often, Shaq had elite footwork and lateral quickness, so he was more than just a bruiser.
Jokic dominates the game differently.
Like Shaq, he can also overpower his opposition and back them all the way up to the rim, but he’s more of a face-up kind of big man.
Jokic is also obviously a much better shooter, and he won’t hesitate to pull up from the top of the arc or knock down shots from all three levels — and the free-throw line.
The Nuggets’ big man is also the greatest passing big man of all time, the one and only point-center, and a rather unique kind of player, just like Shaq was back then.NEXT: Shannon Sharpe Gives A New NBA Finals Prediction After Game 1