What Nikola Jokic’s nickname means (and why it’s part of a plot)

Story highlights WBB “Heatins:” Udonis Haslem, Tyler had a great rap battle

Hardwood Paroxysm’s Rashard Lewis joined in on the rap

The second part of our series on the ABCs of basketball — a look at nicknames, nicknames, and more nicknames

If you’re more into hip-hop than basketball, you’re likely familiar with the word “Jokic.” It’s a nickname given to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic for his high-flying abilities — essentially making shooting layups on jump shots a lot like jumping on and off buses.

A lot of people know about the Jalen Jeter, the NBA superstar, but what about the Jokic? Well, one fan hoping to see Jokic play is Denver Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris, who wants to cheer on the 22-year-old phenom against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, March 6, and it’s not going over well with the team’s management. Harris is in the midst of a contract dispute, and is demanding a trade.

At present, it appears that Jokic is likely to finish out the season with the Nuggets. Harris is far from the only one upset about losing Jokic’s talents.

When CBS Sports asked the Nuggets about Jokic’s nickname, he played out the potential possibilities of a potential trade. “Say what you want but he’s a young star that’s going to be in the league for a long time,” they said. “That’s why we can’t comment on if he’s going to play tomorrow or not.”

This isn’t the first time the NBA has had concerns about Jokic’s nickname. In 2014, J.J. Redick used the word “Jokic” during a radio interview, and Jokic was quick to defend himself. “I’m not Jokic. I’m an honor student,” he said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “You’ve got to spell my name right to call me “Jokic.”

Jokic took things a step further when the Los Angeles Lakers’ Robert Sacre got involved in the heated debate. Sacre was quick to note that the moniker comes from Jokic’s nickname in Slovenia — “Jakovic.”

Jokic responded by defending his name choice, taking a different approach from Humpty Dumpty: “I’m trying to clear this up,” he said. “I didn’t say “Jokic.” I said “Jokovic.” It’s true! This is why people say you look like “Spidey.”

Naturally, it’s hard to tell whether Sacre was responsible for the name decision, or whether it was taken by an older generation of fans while he was growing up. There is no doubt that Jokic’s natural ability and hustle has been one of the prime reasons behind his ascent to stardom. Sacre may have looked somewhat confused, but he was still able to do what he needed to do.

If you have been lucky enough to watch Jokic on the court, you might have noticed that his nickname has nothing to do with the type of basketball he’s playing. Jokic plays a nice game of basketball, yes, but he also is a good “Jok”.

Another dude totally took it too far, though.

Well, Udonis Haslem is a “heat” in his own right, and once again proved that when it comes to sport names, what goes around… obviously… comes around.

After nearly two minutes of rhyming hot spots, Haslem took the baton and ran it up the hill, and made it stop just short of the goal.

Numerous nicknames can be found on the Miami Heat’s roster. Some of them are not so easy to digest, but they’re all pretty awesome.

As great as the team’s Jabari Parker might be, it’s not all that easy to visualize a shirtless DeMar DeRozan taking off his jersey and flexing his muscles mid-game.

Oh, wait — that is how DeRozan rolls. Plus, DeRozan is also known as the “Dancing DeRozan,” which certainly adds to the mystique of his side gig.

ESPN shows J.R. Smith, a Denver Nuggets player, lumbering toward a glass of orange juice. Unlike J.R., Smith keeps on trucking, and he even managed to have a piano stuck on his chest.

Sometimes, you do the unthinkable — and it’s everything you’ve been dreaming of.

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