how is it…
slow? Now, let’s start with something. Here is his special sauce.
What sets him apart in the fast-twitch NBA is his speed, or rather lack of speed, in his play. A two-time League Most Valuable Player, Jokic could write a commentary on the game he came to master: basketball and the art of slowness.
This special ability doesn’t focus on sprinting pace. Jokic can move pretty fast with spurts. It is qualitatively the same. When he’s on the court, he seems to be in control of his time, no matter what the circumstances. While other players frenziedly move around the court, he moves where he wants and when he wants.
As the Nuggets and Lakers starters gathered on the court at Crypto.com Arena Saturday night before tipoff for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, everyone else jumped, fiddled nervously with their uniforms, Someone who seemed to be looking for something gives a high five.
Jokic just stood on center court and waited focused. It reminded me of what former NBA head coach and now ESPN TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy told me before the game about the towering Serb. “He looks totally unperturbed. Jokic embodies John Wooden’s quote: ‘Don’t rush, go fast.'”
“He’s truly phenomenal,” added Van Gundy.
Wait, is this guy a wonder? Jokic is muscular but has few frays. He’s about 7 feet tall, weighs about the same as a subzero refrigerator, and he has arms equivalent to the wings of a pterodactyl. He’s 28 and physically still in the middle of his prime, but he might stumble trying to jump over the Sunday paper.