The 2022 NBA draft saw the Miami Heat select a young Serbian power forward named Nikola Jovic with the 27th overall pick. His name and appearance immediately drew comparisons to another Serbian star in the league, Nikola Jokic, who plays for the Denver Nuggets and is widely regarded as one of the best players and centers of all time. But are these two Nikolas actually related? And what are the similarities and differences between them? Let’s find out.
No Blood Relation
The short answer is no, Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic are not related by blood. They do not share any common ancestors or family members, as far as we know. They come from different parts of Serbia, with Jovic being born in Leicester, England, where his father Ilija was playing professional basketball at the time, and Jokic being born in Sombor, a city in the northern part of Serbia. They also have different last names, which differ by only one letter but have different meanings and origins in Serbian. Jovic means “son of Jovo”, while Jokic means “little Joka”.
Similar Names and Games
The reason why many people assume that Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic are related is because of their similar names and games. Both of them are named after Saint Nicholas, a popular Christian saint who is revered in Serbia and other Eastern Orthodox countries. Both of them are also 6’11″ tall and play the power forward or center position, with a versatile skill set that includes passing, shooting, rebounding, and basketball IQ. Both of them also started their professional careers with Mega Basket, a Serbian team that is known for producing NBA talent.
However, there are also some notable differences between them. Jokic is older than Jovic by eight years, and has already established himself as an NBA legend, winning two MVP awards, one Finals MVP award, and one NBA championship with the Nuggets. He is also the all-time leader in triple-doubles among European players and centers. Jovic, on the other hand, is just starting his NBA journey with the Heat, and has yet to prove himself on the highest level. He has also stated that he does not want to be compared to Jokic, as he respects him too much and considers him to be on another level.
Mutual Respect and Friendship
Despite not being related, Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic have a mutual respect and friendship that goes beyond basketball. They have met each other several times in Serbia, where they have trained together and exchanged tips and advice. They have also expressed their admiration for each other’s game and personality, and have supported each other’s success. They both represent the Serbian national team, where they hope to win a medal at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic may not be related by blood, but they are certainly connected by their names, games, and love for their country. They are both proud ambassadors of Serbian basketball, and they inspire many young players to follow their footsteps. They are also examples of how two people with similar backgrounds can have different paths and achievements, but still respect and appreciate each other. They are not brothers, but they are definitely brothers in arms.