Why is Nicola Jokic declining to play with Serbia in Tokyo OIympics?

After a legendary season, NBA MVP Nicola Jokic has decided he will not be playing in the Olympics the summer. Jokic won silver with Serbia in 2016 in Rio.

Why is Nicola Jokic declining to play with Serbia in Tokyo OIympics?
Isaiah J. Downing USA TODAY Sports

After being knocked out of the Western Conference semifinals, the newly named NBA MVP Nicola Jokic has announced he will not be in Tokyo this summer. The Serbian has withdrawn from his national team for this summer’s Olympic Games.

MVP Jokic pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The Denver Nuggets were swept by the Suns in the conference semis. Nicola Jokic was left to carry the brunt of the load, not just in the post season but since Jamal Murray tore his ACL in April.

The MVP of the league averaged 25.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in the playoffs. Jokic led the Nuggets through the first round, but was contained by the Phoenix Suns. Jokic didn’t see the end of the series after being ejected with a flagrant two in the Game 4.

Silver for Serbia in Rio 2016

Jokic won silver at the 2016 Olympics, but will not be joining his countrymen in late July as they make another medal run.

The two time All-NBA First team selection broke the news to Serbian state news agency Tanjug, “To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team," said Jokic. “Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court to recover. I have to accept that. I am sure that the guys have the quality to make a result without me, which will bring us all a lot of joy."

Jokic played in every one of the Denver Nuggets’ 72 game regular season. After a shortened preseason due to complications from Covid the MVP has decided to rest this offseason.