July 20, 2024

Nikola Jokic is on the list of candidates for the World Cup, Serbia’s head coach Svetislav Pesic announced.

The Denver Nuggets won their first-ever NBA title after defeating the Miami Heat in the Finals. With Nikola Jokic taking the Finals MVP trophy, one more question remained to be answered.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup is coming in two months, and Jokic’s availability for the event has been unclear so far. However, the Serbian national team’s head coach Svetislav Pesic put the questions to rest.

“Jokic is on the representative list, as are the other candidates,” he told Rada Nikolic from SportKlub Srbija.

With Jokic on the list of candidates, only an injury or a personal ‘no’ from the player himself would mean he’d miss the World Cup.

Later on, Pesic also touched on the championships that are still going on in Europe.

“Not everyone has finished the season yet. Partizan and Crvena Zvezda, where we have seven or eight potential national team players, have just started the final series of the ABA League,” the veteran specialist said. “Then in Turkey, the finals also begin with [Vasilije] Micic [playing], and Barcelona with [Nikola] Kalinic in the semi-finals. All national team members know the plan and program, [they need to] just to finish the club season without major injuries.”

After missing last year’s EuroBasket 2022, Bogdan Bogdanovic has committed to play for Serbia this summer. Although he’s currently not in Serbia, Pesic didn’t have any doubts about the player’s future on the national team.

“He only started playing in December, and right now he feels good,” the coach told. “Since he has a good relationship with his body, he returned to America for another check-up to get instructions from his doctor and physiotherapist. The most important thing is that he feels good.”

Aleksej Pokusevski, meanwhile, suffered an injury during the offseason, and his future in the national team is currently uncertain.

“We’re expecting him in Belgrade at the end of this month. His shoulder popped out, he’s currently in the rehabilitation process. He’s under a question mark, the agreement is to see him in the capital soon,” Pesic concluded.


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