Nick Wright says Nikola Jokic is a more ‘deadly’ offensive player than Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sports analyst Nick Wright had high praise for Denver Nuggets star big man Nikola Jokic following his performance against the Boston Celtics on Thursday, as he said he is a more “deadly” offensive threat than former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

“The best offensive players ever — this is not in order, but this is the list: Wilt [Chamberlain], Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], Michael [Jordan], Magic [Johnson], [Larry] Bird, Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal), Steph (Stephen Curry), LeBron [James] and this guy (Jokic),” Wright said. “That has him ahead of Kobe. That has him ahead of [Kevin] Durant. That has him ahead of [Tim] Duncan and Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon), which I think most would agree with, ’cause so much of their value was being the best defensive player in the league for a year. But I think he is a more deadly offensive player than Kobe or Durant were.”

Jokic stuffed the stat sheet in just under 39 minutes of play in the Nuggets’ win over the Celtics. He finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and even chipped in two steals while shooting 11-of-19 from the field.

The Nuggets’ victory on Thursday marked their second win over the Celtics in the 2023-24 regular season, as Denver also handed Boston — who has lost just three games at home all season — a two-point loss at TD Garden back on Jan. 19.

The 29-year-old has been on a roll in the month of March. Granted, he has played just three games so far this month, but he is averaging 30.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game on 56.5 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range.

Jokic has managed to consistently stay on the floor for his team in his ninth season in the NBA, as he has appeared in all but two of the Nuggets’ 63 regular-season contests to this point while averaging 26.0 points, 12.3 rebounds 9.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

The Nuggets sit as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference — behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves — but are well within striking distance of the No. 1 seed in the conference, as they trail the 44-19 Timberwolves by only one game.

If Jokic were to lead the Nuggets to their second title in a row later in the year, that would help strengthen his case as one of the more dynamic offensive talents in NBA history.

But it’s up for debate whether it was the right move for Wright to say definitively that Jokic is a more deadly offensive player than Bryant, who led the league in scoring twice and has well over 30,000 career points to his name.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.