The American sports network ESPN put Nikola Jokić in tenth place of the best NBA players for the 2020/2021 season.
The Serbian center ranked seventh on ESPN’s list for the previous season.
ESPN points out that Jokić’s sluggish start to the previous season was quickly forgotten, considering that he led the Denver Nuggets until the first final of the conference since 2009.
– Jokić showed along the way how he can help the team in several ways – against the Utah Jazz, they asked him to be the scorer, he averaged 26.3 points. That dropped to 24.4 against the Clippers, but Jokić dominated the jump (13.4) and averaged 6.6 assists. Although he was limited by problems with fouls against the later champions of the Lakers, he averaged 58 percent of shots for two points – ESPN states in the analysis.
In front of Jokić on this list are James Harden, Stephen Curry, Damien Lillard, Kevin Durant, Kavaj Lenard, Luka Dončić, Janis Adetokumbo, Anthony Davis, and as number 1 LeBron James.
However, ESPN’s list has been fiercely criticized by the basketball public and individual players for certain rankings.
In addition to putting Doncic next to proven superstars like Durant, Curry, and Harden, they especially resent the fact that Zayon Williamson is ahead of Paul George, Carl-Anthony Towns, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook (only 36), and Lonzo Ball and Montrezl Herrell ahead of John Wall and Demara DeRozan.
DeRozan himself sent a pictorial message to ESPN on Twitter about what he thinks about their list.
The new NBA season starts on December 22, but the first games are from the night between Friday and Saturday when the pre-season begins.