All-Star center Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets get almost no love despite upsetting the Los Angeles Clippers and reaching the Western Conference Finals last season.
Twice the Nuggets overcame 3-1 series deficits, upending the Oklahoma City Thunder before the Clippers. But still, all anyone wants to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Even now, they are talking about how Clippers lost, they don’t think about how Nuggets won,” Jokic told reporters. “We don’t care that nobody gives us some kind of whatever, respect. We’re going to be there. We were in tough situations last year. We fight. Just [because] someone doesn’t give us respect doesn’t mean that we take their opinions. We know what we are capable of.”
That’s why the Lakers talk doesn’t seem to bother Jokic.
“To be honest, I don’t care about Lakers,” Jokic said when asked about the defending champions. “They’re going to be good probably anyway. About us, I like it. I think sometimes change is really good for the team. Just to bring some new energy, new guys, new individuals, I think it’s going to be interesting and I’m looking forward to see how we’re going to be.”
The Nuggets lost Jerami Grant, Torrey Craig and Mason Plumlee, adding JaMychel Green and Facundo Campazzo in free agency.
“I don’t know how we’re going to be,” Jokic said. “Are we going to be better? Are we going to be worse? I’m just looking forward to see how we’re going to do this season in all these weird times.”