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Basketball fans hold onto your jerseys. The current MVP, Nikola Jokić ‘The Joker’, has found himself a new challenger. Lil Wayne, the Grammy-award-winning rapper and longtime NBA enthusiast, recently posted a video on social media after the Timberwolves’ 3rd loss in a row to the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semi-finals.

Wayne’s video has taken the basketball world by storm over his comments criticizing Nikola Jokić and taking the side of Rudy Gobert. Wayne was seen talking about Jokic’s game. Lil Wayne compared Jokic’s style to old-school style. Later, he took a jab at Jokic’s playing style by saying, “He look like the dad of a YMCA player.” These comments pointed at Jokic as a YMCA player rather than a seasoned veteran.

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Lil Wayne just didn’t stop there. He supported Rudy Gobert, who won the Defensive Player Of The Year Award this year. Gobert has struggled a lot against Jokic in the conference semi-finals. Gobert missed game 2 of the semi-final series because of the birth of his child. Wayne congratulated Gobert on the birth of his child and emphasized celebrating personal milestones, sharing, “If we get the fact that the man get his first child, nothing matters. Your little defense against Jokic and finals and playoffs don’t matter. That man just had a child, that’s what matters. Congratulate the man and give the man some respect for what he does.

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Old school Jokic vs new school: The debate

Lil Wayne’s comments have added another layer of intrigue regarding Jokic’s style of play. While Jokic has dominated the league with his unorthodox approach, some, like Lil Wayne, yearn for a more traditional, physical brand of basketball. Shaquille O’Neal has also criticized Jokic’s game. Shaq recently said that Jokic’s game lacks effectiveness.

USA Today via Reuters

But amidst all this, we have to remember that Nikola Jokić is the reigning MVP of the game. Jokic excels in shooting, spacing, and versatility. When he is playing well, he is a force to be reckoned with. He can change the whole course of the game. This season, Jokic has averaged 26.4 points per game. Jokic has also averaged 12.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. His ability to rack up triple-doubles has been instrumental in the Nuggets’ success.

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Lil Wayne’s comments about Gobert are a welcome reminder of the importance of a strong defensive presence. Gobert has been a defensive stalwart and has performed well throughout his career. But his fatherhood duties add another layer to Wayne’s narrative. Whether you subscribe to Lil Wayne’s take or find yourself siding with Jokic’s supporters, one thing’s for sure: the conversation surrounding the NBA’s best centers is getting interesting. The league has been evolving constantly; the new era of basketball requires diverse skill sets, highlight reel play, and defensive grit.