LAS VEGAS — Nikola Jokic strutted through Cox Pavilion Monday night as the Nuggets were tipping off against the Bucks in their third Summer League matchup to little fanfare. Sure, at Summer League, where basketball hipsters flock to the desert to watch not only top draft picks make their debuts but also to fall in love with fringe NBAers who have a remote shot to make the league, people know Jokic when they see him. But still, to many fans in attendance, Jokic was just another tall guy in the room who probably plays basketball instead of one of the NBA’s budding stars.
That’s exactly how he likes it, though. After signing the largest contract in franchise history in Denver Monday morning, Jokic flew private to Vegas and arrived at UNLV’s sprawling basketball complex in a purple polo shirt and black pants, flanked by the same three-person entourage that never leaves his side.