Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic tested positive for COVID-19 while in Serbia, according to ESPN. His return to the U.S. is temporarily delayed.
What We Know:
- Jokic tested positive while in Serbia. He recently spent time with Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic at an event in Belgrade. On Tuesday, news broke that Djokovic and several others who attended his Adria Tour event tested positive for coronavirus.
- According to Jokic’s father, Branislav Jokic, his son is asymptomatic and the whole family is feeling fine. Per NBA protocols, Jokic must record two negative tests within 24 hours before he can travel back to the U.S. The Nuggets expect him to return to Denver within a week. Once he returns to Denver, he must undergo a cardiac screening and register one negative test.
- Jokic averaged 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists before the season’s suspension. The two-time All-Star and All-NBA center led the Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference standings. Jokic had been known as an out-of-shape player by fans and media, and many were surprised by photos of his 40-pound weight loss during the league’s hiatus.
- Several other players tested positive for COVID-19, including four players on an undisclosed Western Conference playoff team and two Phoenix Suns players. The players remain unnamed according to ESPN. Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone also tested positive for coronavirus during the hiatus.
NBA teams recently returned to team facilities to begin testing. The deadline for players to opt-out of the season restart is June 24. Teams will travel to the Orlando bubble from July 7 to July 9.