Nikola Jokić’s Pre-Game Shoe Ritual Could Be Secret To NBA Success

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Nikola Jokić’s Pre-Game Shoe Ritual Could Be Secret To NBA Success


Light-hearted and witty yet uncompromising and dominant: what’s Nikola Jokić’s secret? Well, fans have noticed that the Serbian big man has a surprising and slightly odd ritual that many insiders credit to his success – as well as one that demonstrates what kind of a man he is.

Nikola Jokić is not just a one-of-a-kind basketball player. He is also a one-of-a-kind husband.

Not only is the 28-year-old “Joker” having a historical playoff run with his Denver Nuggets in the ongoing 2023 NBA Playoffs, but he is also getting plenty of online love as a loyal husband for lacing his wedding ring on his basketball shoes.

It’s a cute little ritual that reflects his contemplative character as well as his drive to succeed. It’s his secret sauce.

But while it’s only now that many people are starting to notice this, it’s nothing new as Jokić has been lacing his wedding band to his sneakers in every game that he plays, and when we say that, we don’t mean just this season…

Jokić laces his wedding ring into his Nike Air Zoom G.T. Jump basketball sneakers. Image: ESPN

Jokić has been doing this since he got married

Nikola Jokić got married on October 24, 2020, in his hometown of Sombor in Northern Serbia and as early as December 2020, there have been images of the Joker wearing his wedding band on his sneakers.

Jokić’s wife is Natalija Mačešić, his high school sweetheart. The two met in high school and have been a couple since 2012. While her husband is the star of the house, she is far from being a trophy wife.

Natalija is a practising psychologist. She earned her Master’s degree in psychology at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2018. Previously, she attended Seminole State College in Oklahoma, where she played volleyball.

But with Nikola’s Nuggets deep in the playoffs, she is currently Joker’s No. 1 supporter, watching Denver’s playoff games with their daughter Ognjena.

Nikola Jokić celebrates as his wife, Natalija, and their baby girl, Ognjena, look on glowingly after the fourth quarter of the Nuggets’ 113-111 2023 Western Conference finals game 4 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Image: Getty

The Nuggets are four wins away

After they swept LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the Denver Nuggets are through to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance and are four wins away from the biggest achievement in the history of the franchise.

Meanwhile, The Joker averaged 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, 11.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game on shooting splits of 51/47/78% to become the first player in NBA history to average 20/10/10 in the Conference Finals. He also joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double in back-to-back playoff series.

With the way the Nuggets are playing, it’s not hard to think of them finally breaking through and winning their first NBA title. If that happens, it will be interesting to see what the Joker does next. All NBA champions are given championship rings. Will he wear that ring too on his other shoe?