When these playoffs are said and done, Nikola Jokic might find his legacy in a completely new tier of NBA greats. The two-time MVP was dominant against the Timberwolves, Suns, and Lakers, carving up the Western Conference and forcing some of TV’s most prominent NBA analysts to change their tune about his abilities.
What’s also become clear is that Jokic just doesn’t have much in common with many of the NBA’s superstars. He prefers to stay quiet, rarely talks about himself, and doesn’t seem to be attracted to the spotlight that comes with sweeping LeBron James and the Lakers.
One particular tradition sets Jokic apart from the pack: He wears his wedding ring on his shoe during games. Jokic spends the offseason in Serbia with his family, and it’s clear his family stays at the forefront of his mind even when he’s dropping triple-doubles at an unprecedented rate in the playoffs.
Nikola Jokic laces his wedding ring into his shoes for every game 💍✊
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 23, 2023
Here’s what you need to know about why Jokic laces his wedding ring into his shoe.
Why does Nikola Jokic wear his wedding ring on his shoe?
The short answer, of course, is that Jokic is married and loves his wife. At the same time, plenty of players in loving marriages don’t attach their wedding rings to their shoes when they’re on the court. So, how did this tradition start for the two-time MVP?
Jokic has said he got the idea from a former teammate of his in Serbia and ties the ring to his shoe to keep his family by his side. Wearing a wedding ring the traditional way during a basketball game wouldn’t be safe, but Jokic has found a way to keep the ring by his side at all times.
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Former Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova pulled off the same move in 2017, he tweeted, though not in an NBA game.
Had to find a safe spot for my wedding band!! pic.twitter.com/B0MAwUHzXh
— Matthew Dellavedova (@matthewdelly) July 8, 2017
Whatever Jokic is doing, it’s working. He has won two MVPs since he married his wife in 2020, and he’s a couple of wins away from an NBA championship after rolling through the Western Conference and leading the Nuggets to their first NBA Finals appearance.
Nikola Jokic wife
Jokic married Natalija Macesic in his home country of Serbia on Oct. 24, 2020. They had a daughter named Ognjena in September of 2021.
The couple has been together much longer than just these last three years. They met as teenagers in their shared hometown of Sombor, Serbia, and Macesic moved to Denver with Jokic when he joined the Nuggets in 2015.
Jokic and his then-girlfriend lived with his two brothers when they first moved to Denver. Macesic, the Jokic brothers, and now Ognjena are frequently spotted cheering on Jokic at Nuggets games.
The Jokić brothers and Natalija (Nikola’s wife) just went crazy after Joker hit that three. They’ve been up on their feet for the entire 4th quarter here in LA sitting a few rows behind the Nuggets bench.
— Katy Winge (@katywinge) May 21, 2023
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Jokic has said he plans to move his family back to Serbia permanently after his career, and he already spends portions of his offseason in the country each year. As much as Jokic may prefer the quiet life, it might be tough for him to go off the grid if he wins a championship and continues to build an incredible NBA legacy with the Nuggets.