Jokic recorded his 79th triple-double on Thursday, moving past Wilt for sixth on the all-time list for centers.

Wilt Chamberlain has been dethroned as the benchmark for triple-doubles among centers, with Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic now wearing the crown. Jokic recorded the 79th triple-double of his career in a 122-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, passing Chamberlain’s 78, which was the previous record for centers. 

Jokic’s accomplishment also moved him to sixth on the all-time triple-doubles list, right behind LeBron James, who currently has 105 over his career. After the game, the Nuggets presented Jokic with a signed game ball to celebrate the moment.

When asked about how it feels to pass Chamberlain, Jokic spoke about how nice it is to be compared to someone of his stature. 

“It’s nice to be compared with a guy who’s probably one of the best ever,” 

“It’s some kind of legacy probably that I’ll leave behind. It’s nice.”

Jokic said.

While Jokic is humble about his accomplishment, what he did is no small feat. Racking up 79 triple-doubles in just seven years is difficult for any player, but especially a big man. It speaks to the incredible uniqueness that is Jokic’s game: His ability to not only score and rebound, but also send whiparound passes out of the post to the guy on the weak side corner for a 3-pointer. Or how, despite being 6-foot-11, he’s able to orchestrate Denver’s offense and bring the ball up like a point guard. Some of the passes he executed against the Thunder perfectly showed how special of a facilitator he is.

Like this dime to Jamal Murray who nails the 3-pointer on the weak side. What’s even more special about this pass is the fact that Jokic didn’t just send it to where Murray was already standing, he led Murray with the pass into space to make it even more difficult for a defender to get to him. Jokic is like a quarterback when delivering a deep ball to a wide receiver.

Jokic’s passing is so essential to Denver’s offense, and when his teammates are converting on his elite dimes, the Nuggets are a very difficult team to beat. That happened against Oklahoma City, as Jokic took just two shot attempts in the entire first half. But he had eight assists, which was in part the reason Aaron Gordon got up to 22 points through the first two quarters. Jokic was sending Gordon alley-oops and delivering perfectly placed entry passes to put Gordon in the perfect position to score.

While Jokic broke Chamberlain’s record, it was just another night at the office for the reigning two-time league MVP. He’ll surely rack up many more triple-doubles as the season continues, so it won’t be surprising if he inches really close to passing LeBron later on this year. 

Source: CBS News

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