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Joker Playing Basketball Beyond Belief

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The basketball world is abuzz and agog.

There’s this guy. Everybody’s talking about him. This thing of wonder. Playing basketball beyond belief.

They call him The Joker, Nikola Jokic. Stat line last night: 34 points, 23 rebounds, 14 assists. Routine performance for him. Carried his Denver Nuggets to a Game 1 win over the Lakers in Western Conference Finals. Seven wins away from winning the NBA title.

Last night during the game the head honcho of NGSCSports, Ralph Garcia, called me twice. He told me the way Joker was playing had brought him to tears.

A New York native with hoops in his blood since a young boy (like me), Ralph knows hoops. He conveyed the sentiment to me last night that what he was watching was basketball being played on a level he had never seen. Ralph is 60. He’s been watching hoops since he was 5.

A grown man, lying in his bed, watching on his tablet PC a man playing basketball, crying.

In admiration. In amazement. In wonder. In fascination. Utterly dumbfounded. Perplexed. Dazzled.

This is the emotional impact the Joker is having on people who watch him play basketball. I find myself yelping “How the hell did he see that guy to make that pass?” “How does he make such a higher percentage of the shots he takes?” “How can he, at 6 feet 11 inches, dribble the ball up the court and make better passes than any point guard I’ve ever seen including Magic Johnson, Steve Nash, and Pete Maravich?

What are we seeing here? What is going on? Who is this guy?

He passes and rebounds better than Larry Bird. He shoots inside more accurately than Bird and is comparable from the 3-point line.

Right now he’s better than LeBron James who some believe is the best basketball player who has ever played the game. He’s a better rebounder and passer and comparable shooter to Michael Jordan. He runs the fast break better than Jordan and is better at getting his teammates involved.

And yet they say he’s not a great athlete, can’t jump over a curve, has slow feet, and is unathletic.

How can a guy be unathletic and score 34 points, haul 23 rebounds, and dish out 14 assists in a single game?

Those who say he’s unathletic don’t understand basketball or the magic of superpower hand-eye coordination. Geniuses excel at processing information faster than people with average or even above-average smarts. Jokic processes what he sees on the basketball court faster than everyone else.

It’s innate. It’s genius.

It doesn’t matter what else he does in his basketball career, to me he will forever be the most amazingly efficient, effective, and multi-skilled basketball player I’ve ever seen – and I’ve studied thousands.

This guy plays the game so well it defies common sense. No human is supposed to be able to perform as well as he does. You draw up a realistic blueprint for how to play basketball at a high level and he exceeds the blueprint game after game. Count on it. Count on him.

The country is now starting to see who this guy is now that he’s in the hot lights of the Western Conference Finals. The media attention has ratcheted up 10-fold. Everybody wants to interview him and ask him questions about how he plays the game in a way no one has seen before. On YouTube, you can find countless videos of his stunning play and guys talking about this basketball savant. Day after day, 24/7.

It must be a bit daunting to be a humble guy as he is just playing basketball in the small Denver market and suddenly every basketball pundit, reporter, and casual hoops fan is now uber-fascinated with who you are, where you came from, how you do what you do so stunning well.

A guy from Serbia, taken 41st in the NBA draft, not expected to do much, certainly not be a star, is now at the top of the basketball universe. He says he didn’t even expect to make it to the NBA. Now he IS the NBA.

His head must be swirling, his life a constant situation where somebody else wants to interview him. He’s become so big and so widely discussed he must not even know what is happening in his life and wonder how to handle playing basketball beyond belief. Life in a global fishbowl with everybody staring and gawking at you. On the court. On the street. Everywhere you go.

Believe this: He’s going to win his first NBA championship. Then the critics will say he needs to win four or five to be considered an all-time great.

Wrong. He already is.

Sammy Sportface

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Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
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Author Profile

Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:

Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out

Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page

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