Nikola Jokic has transformed himself into one of the best centers in the NBA, but he used to have a nasty coke habit.
No, not that kind of coke. Coca-Cola.
Before he started taking his diet and physical fitness so seriously, Jokic would drink over three liters of Coke soda every day. That’s a full gallon! Now that the secret’s out, you might see every NBA star with a Coke in their hand after every game from now on.
Nikola Jokic is as unique a player as you’ll find in the NBA
If a non-basketball fan saw Nikola Jokic walking down the street in regular clothes, how many tries would it take them to guess what he does for a living? 100? 1,000? Jokic looks more like a plumber more than he does an All Star in the NBA.
Despite his goofy appearance and mannerisms, Jokic is a true generational superstar at the age of 25. He has the height and size of Shaquille O’Neal, the vision and passing ability of Magic Johnson, and the off-balance shot-making prowess of Larry Bird.
Jokic’s presence is felt beyond the box score, but he can still put up incredible stats. In 2020, Jokic averaged 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game, and he’s been even better in the postseason.
Jokic already has five triple-doubles and a 43-point game in the 2020 playoffs. He’s led the Denver Nuggets back from two 3-1 deficits and has them three wins away from the NBA Finals. It will be a tall task to conquer the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, but either way, Jokic has established himself as one of the best in the business.
Jokic used to drink a gallon of Coca-Cola every day
Before Jokic got into the shape he’s in now, the big man had an unhealthy addiction to Coca-Cola. During an interview with Zach Lowe of ESPN, Jokic revealed he used to drink three liters of Coke per day.
Here’s the dialogue from that interview:
“Is it true you used to drink a gallon of Coca-Cola every day?“
“Yeah. Maybe three liters or so. It was a lot.”
“How early in the morning did you take your first hit?“
“Never in the morning, because we had practices in the morning, and I could never drink before. But after practice, it was glass after glass. I couldn’t stop.”
“Ever dabble now, or have you totally kicked it?“
“I haven’t had any in the last one-and-a-half years. On my flight to come to Denver, I had my last Coke ever.”
“Any withdrawal headaches?“
“No. Nothing. It was easy. It felt really good, actually. It was good to know I didn’t need it.”
Jokic lost over 20 pounds since cutting off his Coke habit
Jokic used to be a bit on the chunkier side before he got serious about his body, but now he looks like a well-oiled machine. It’s possible kicking his Coke habit had something to do with that.
Jokic said he lost 20-25 pounds this season alone. With his newfound six-pack and his quicker first step, Jokic is more lethal and more efficient on a basketball court than he’s ever been.