Nikola Jokic Is the Official Athlete of New Splinter

Sports Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic Is the Official Athlete of New Splinter

If you don’t like Nikola Jokic I don’t like you.

Every journalist has their own preconceived opinion of the world. One of the major themes I’ll be covering here at Splinter is how the “objective” media has its own biases, aided by their powerful friends who produce its scoop-based economy. In the spirit of this honesty, I want to reveal one of our own preferences to Splinter readers: Nikola Jokic is the fucking best. He didn’t ask to be named the official athlete of our new sports vertical and wouldn’t have answered our calls even if we tried (like a true Chad, he doesn’t talk to any media if he doesn’t have to), but that’s just another reason why the greatest athlete alive should be celebrated every chance we get before he inevitably retreats back to his Serbian compound to never be seen again and focus on his true passion: horses.

We’re introducing a little sports coverage here at Splinter to placate the Silicon Valley goliath determining whether we live or die. Because we live in a late-stage capitalist hellscape where monopolies run rampant and Google determines what you can and cannot make money off of, trying to monetize a politics site solely through advertising is difficult ranging on damn-near impossible. This is why we will be launching a subscription tier that includes access to exclusive subscriber-only content (the vast majority of the site will still remain free to read), being able to comment on stories, the ability to chat with Splinter staff in a private Discord channel during big events like election night, and of course, swag like a cool t-shirt along with any other ideas we can come up with along the way to reward readers who want to support us. This new sports vertical is also part of our strategic effort to get around the Google blockade (Google doesn’t hate sports like it does politics or sex), but it is also part passion project. I detailed a little bit of my sports background in my autobiographical post introducing myself as Editor-in-Chief to Splinter readers, but these blogs will serve as the outlet for my die-hard sports fandom.

We’re going to try to eschew any kind of real serious analysis, we’re leaning more political and individual-focused and just trying to capture the emotions and the spirit of sports with our coverage, but we also don’t want to only do political sports coverage and completely subject ourselves to the whims of the disingenuous outrage cycle. We want to have some fun here at Splinter too, and silly little sports blogs like this, or more serious ones that focus on the human element of sports will fall under what constitutes a submission we’d be interested in (pitch me at Jacob at Splinter dot com!). We mainly just don’t want to step on The Defector‘s toes with this still-evolving section.

So, without further ado, I will provide an example of the kind of balanced and level-headed coverage you can come to expect from these silly little sports blogs.

Nikola Jokic is the greatest athlete mankind has ever produced, and you have an idiotic baby brain if you think otherwise.

Back in 2019, SBNation’s Seth Rosenthal famously said, “this dude plays every minute as if he’s wearing flip-flops yet is a borderline MVP.” Every minute since that tweet, Jokic has proven himself to be the best basketball player alive en route to two MVPs (and it would have been three if that guy in Philadelphia who only plays two-thirds of every season hadn’t begged the media for one) plus a Finals MVP, securing all of them three years in a row.

Here’s the full list of players ever with 2+ MVPs and 1+ Finals MVP: Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jokic.

Nikola Jokic wrongly gets characterized as a guy who does not care about winning as much as other Superduperstars (he did beat Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and playoff Jimmy Butler en route to a title, after all), but his nonchalance on and off the court makes Jokic the most relatable Superduperstar of all time.

The first thing he said to the media after winning his first championship is “the job is done, we can go home,” and in the post-game press conference he was dismayed at the championship parade keeping him in town longer than he wanted to. He then provided this legendary soundbite that should echo in the halls of pro-labor organizers until the end of time.

(In all seriousness, this is a good time to mention all-time great player and Civil Rights icon Bill Russell, and his influence in helping lead the 1964 All-Star game near-boycott that forced the owners to recognize the NBA players union)

At the parade, Jokic made amends for his sleight to Denver and drunkenly said “I fucking want to stay on parade. This is the best.” I was there and drunk as well and I also fucking wanted to stay on parade. It was the best. How can you not love a man with the eyes of the entire basketball world on him who still has his priorities in order like this?

All this from a guy who passed LeBron James in career triple doubles this year for fourth all-time and could pass Magic freaking Johnson in third place by the end of the season. He just turned 29 years old! He might be a top ten basketball player ever! And he was drafted during a Taco Bell commercial! This rules!

Jokic is the most everyman superstar in the history of sports. His basketball wizardry is second to none, and he has already established himself as one of the game’s greatest passers and inside scorers ever, while also being one of the best rebounders of this century. His selfless basketball style that truly does force everyone to Play the Right Way and hunt the most efficient shot for every situation realigned one of the NBA’s most hapless franchises around greatness, and helped make it a model organization. To say that we’ve never seen anything like Jokic is an understatement, and more of a statement of fact.

Which is why I, as a completely unbiased Denver native and Splinter Editor-in-Chief, am anointing Nikola Jokic as The Official Athlete of New Splinter. You can have your ferocious dunks and flashy above-the-rim plays from athletes who trend more towards alien than human, all while employing armies of publicists to carefully manage their image every nanosecond. I’ll keep my guy with no social media who casually drops 30-15-10 on 65% shooting on those same aliens while playing in flip flops and dreaming about horses, all while being an unabashed ally to labor. Nikola Jokic, we here at Splinter stan a legend.

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