Nikola Jokic's FIBA World Cup Withdrawal Shakes Serbian Basketball Fans

In a development that has resonated through the Serbian basketball community, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic will not be joining his compatriots at the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Nikola Jokic's FIBA World Cup Withdrawal Shakes Serbian Basketball Fans

In a development that has resonated through the Serbian basketball community, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic will not be joining his compatriots at the upcoming FIBA World Cup. Coach Svetislav Pesic revealed this unsettling news on Monday, attributing the decision to Jokic's need to recover from Denver's protracted postseason run.

"We've had several talks with Jokic, and I have to admit that these were among the most constructive dialogues I've had with players unable to join the roster," Pesic disclosed in an interview with MozzartSport. He further explained, "He's physically and mentally spent, not feeling ready to shoulder the responsibility at this time." Since making his national team debut in 2016, Jokic has made significant contributions in major tournaments including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2019 World Cup in China, and the 2022 European Championship.

However, he also chose to skip the 2017 European Championship, marking this as the second time the acclaimed player has opted out of national duty.

Social Media Outpour: Fans Express Disappointment

The announcement has ignited a firestorm of reaction on Serbian social media, with many fans expressing deep disappointment at their star player's decision.

The comments are poignant, ranging from frustration to disillusionment, and often dipped in sarcasm. One commentator suggested, "Nicolas Jok, go play for America. Take the horses with you." Another chimed in with a lament about the lost sleep in supporting the player, "And you guys, get up at four in the morning to watch him and cheer him on." The sentiments extended to a stinging rebuke: "I'm a fool for getting up to watch you.

Bye, hello, forever. Štimac is the king for you..." However, amid the acerbic comments, there are also those who strive to view the situation from a different perspective. One individual expressed a nuanced sentiment: "I'm not really a hater, kudos to this guy for everything, but this really bothers me.

Once upon a time, people, it was a serious honor to play for the national team. I don't know... To me, this says a lot about him." As the dust settles on Jokic's decision, the Serbian basketball community will have to come to terms with the reality of facing the world stage without their star player.

His absence is undoubtedly a setback, but it also opens the floor for emerging talents to step up and seize the opportunity.

Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets
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