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Novak Djokovic has a famous fan in NBA superstar Nikola Jokic. After leading the Denver Nuggets to their first-ever berth in the NBA Finals, the five-time All-Star had glowing words for his compatriot when a reporter asked him about his team's achievement in the context of it happening in the lead-up to Roland Garros, and if he and Djokovic will speak in the coming days.

The notoriously offline Jokic, who deleted his personal social media accounts and recently quipped that they're "a waste of time," said that while he doesn't have Djokovic's cell phone number, he admires the 22-time Grand Slam champion and added that he "cannot be compared" to him.

"He is a guy who represents Serbia in a much bigger scene,” Jokic said Monday night after the Nuggets beat LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers, 113-111. “He's a Serbian ambassador, and he's really [an] idol to the kids in Serbia and not just on the court, [but with] the things that his foundation is doing. He is the guy who can you can look up [to], 'I want to be like him.'

“He is doing something great for kids, for Serbia, for everything. So we cannot be compared.”

While he might not have him on WhatsApp, Jokic, who's nicknamed 'The Joker,' and 'The Djoker' have in fact met multiple times before. Djokovic is a noted basketball fan, and when Jokic won his first career MVP award in 2021, he wore Jokic's jersey at practice ahead of his then-impending semifinal match in Paris.

“MVP! MVP! This is for my friend Nikola Jokic, The Joker,” Djokovic said in a video he posted to social media at the time. “Congratulations for your MVP, well deserved. Sending you big regards from Paris, Roland Garros. I’m carrying you today with me in practice and hopefully bringing you luck in the playoffs. All the best, my friend!”


Djokovic has also been plugged into Jokic's performance in this year's playoffs. He reposted a fan-made edit celebrating Jokic's efforts in getting his team to the final on his Instagram story on Tuesday, and shouted out Jokic's historic performances in the lead-up. Earlier in the Nuggets' series against the Lakers, for example, the 6-foot-11 center became the first player in league history to achieve four consecutive 20-point triple-doubles in the postseason.

He also broke a nearly 60-year league record for the most triple-doubles in a single postseason, surpassing the record of seven set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1967.