Nikola Jokić had a very busy day on Tuesday. He won an NBA championship and lost a Finals MVP trophy.
The Denver Nuggets star completed a legacy-sealing playoff run with an NBA Finals-clinching Game 5 win, sealing unanimous Finals MVP honors after averaging 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 58.3% from the field and 42.1% from 3-point range against the Miami Heat.
As you might expect, it was a jubilant scene in the Nuggets’ locker room after the game. Jokić drew internet laughter for how calm he was during the proceedings, but he was apparently having enough fun to lose track of something very important.
As he explained to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, he left the Finals MVP trophy in the room of longtime Nuggets equipment manager Sparky Gonzales. When he went back, the trophy was gone, as he explained at the 1:39 mark below:
The question and answer:
Andrews: “I’ve got to tell you, I’ve done a couple of these Finals MVP interviews. You’re the first one to come in without the trophy. Where is it?”
Jokić: “I really don’t know. I left it in Sparky’s room and it’s not there anymore. So I don’t know, but hopefully it can arrive in my house.”
The story fortunately has a happy ending, like many aspects of the Nuggets’ season. Andrews later reported Gonzales is in possession of the trophy, which will be ready for the Nuggets’ championship parade on Thursday.
For what it’s worth, Jokić didn’t exactly display a Gollum-esque devotion to the Finals MVP trophy during the postgame ceremonies. As many noticed, Nuggets guard Bruce Brown was holding the trophy on the stage at one point because Jokić left it there while going to see his family.
Whether or not the trophy was found, Jokić clearly knows what his priorities are, evident throughout the Nuggets’ playoff run. That’s still true now that the season is over: He is legitimately worried about getting back to his native Serbia in time for a horse race on Sunday.
Source: Yahoo Sports