Nikola Jokic, the 6’11”, 284-pound center for the Denver Nuggets is not only one of the most dominating players in the NBA, but he’s arguably one of the sweetest.
Averaging 25 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 10 assists per game, the two-time defending Most Valuable Player strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents while, at the same time, wears a loving tribute to his family on the laces of his size 16 Nike basketball shoes.
As part of his game-day ritual, the Serbian-born big man ties his wedding band into the bow on his left shoe as a heartfelt tribute to the biggest treasures of his life, wife Natalija and one-year-old daughter, Ognjena.
The NBA enforces strict rules about wearing jewelry on the court, but doesn’t prohibit the display of bridal jewelry on sneakers.
The subtle — but deeply meaningful — gesture seems to be paying dividends for the perennial All Star, who has helped catapult his team to the top of the Western Conference standings with a record of 31-13.
Social media outlet Official NBA Buzz assembled a collage of Nikola’s ring-embellished sneakers on its Instagram page. The ring is a simple platinum or white gold wedding band with beveled edges. See the post here…
Nikola and Natalija met in Serbia and have been dating since they were both in high school. She’s been there every step of the way — from his teenage days in the Serbian League to his selection by the Nuggets in the second round of the the NBA draft in 2014. They married in October 2020 and welcomed their daughter 11 months later.
The couple comes from humble roots (Nikola grew up in a two-bedroom apartment that he shared with his two brothers, his parents and his grandmother), but are enjoying the spoils of a new five-year contract extension worth $264 million.
Despite being a public figure, Nikola — aka The Joker — prefers to keep his personal life under the radar. He and his wife maintain a low-profile social media presence and tend to stay out of the limelight.
Credits: Jokic family with the NBA MVP trophy, photo via Instagram / jokic.natalija. Nikola Jokic free throw photo by All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Nikola Jokic shooting photo by All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.