Nikola Jokic to Skip 2021 Olympics If Serbia Qualifies After MVP Year with Nuggets

Adam WellsJune 16, 2021

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Serbia men's national basketball team won't have Nikola Jokic for this summer's Olympic season. 

Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, Jokic announced on Wednesday that he won't play for his home country during Olympic qualifiers or if they advance to the Tokyo Games in order to rest after having a short offseason between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 NBA campaigns.

ESPN.com did note that it is "unclear" if Jokic will actually sit out the Olympics if Serbia qualifies. 

Jokic, who was named NBA MVP for the 2020-21 season, has been one of the most durable players in the league over the course of his career. The 26-year-old has never missed more than nine games in a season since 2015-16. 

Since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, Jokic has appeared in all 174 games for the Nuggets between the regular season and playoffs. 

Denver's run to the Western Conference Finals last season combined with a short offseason meant Jokic only had 87 days off until the start of this season. 

Jokic played on the Serbia national team during the 2016 Olympics. The country won a silver medal at the Rio Games, losing to the United States in the final. He averaged 9.1 points and 2.4 assists in eight appearances. 

Serbia is hosting a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament and will play the Dominican Republic in group play on June 29. 

Men's basketball at the 2020 Olympics will begin in Tokyo on July 25. 


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