Nikola Jokic
Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post

Nikola Jokic will not play for Serbia in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in late June in Belgrade.

Jokic, the 2021 NBA MVP, officially announced his decision via a statement in the Serbian state news agency Tanjug.

“To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team.

Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court to recover. I have to accept that. I am sure that the guys have the quality to make a result without me, which will bring us all a lot of joy,” Jokic said.

Despite the absence of the Denver Nuggets superstar, Serbia has a deep and talented team and is the favorite to win the tournament and play in the Olympic Games.