Today is Day 15 of the Omer. Hesed sheb’tif’eret. Generousity that flows from balance.
Today begins weeks 3 of the Omer, the week of tif’eret, which connotes beauty, harmony, balance, and compassion and the different ways they manifest in the world. There are few players in the NBA with a more balanced offensive game than the 25 year old, center, Nikola Jokić. The 7ft, 250 lbs big man doesn’t look like the kind of physical specimen that would dominate some of the greatest athletes in the world, but that’s exactly what he does, night after night.
As an under the radar, 2nd round draft pick from Serbia in 2015, little was expected of Jokić. However, since moving into the starting lineup and gaining consistent playing time, he has emerged as an All-star and the leader of one of the best teams in the NBA. Over the last three years, he has averaged, 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists a game while becoming a 2x All-Star. In the playoffs, he just got better, raising his averages to 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 8.4 assists/game, while leading his team to the 2018-19 Western Conference Finals.
Jokić can score from anywhere on the basketball court. He is a dominate low-post presence and solid three point shooter, who can score with his right and left, from a variety of angles and positions. And while he’s capable of scoring a lot, what he really wants to do is pass. And oh boy, can he pass. Jokić might already be the best passing big man ever. From one-handed-full court baseball passes, to no-look alley-oops, he can do it all, and do it with flair. He is the offensive engine of the Denver Nuggets, and the embodiment of hesed, always looking for his teammates, always sharing the ball. If anything, he is too generous, and should look to score more. But why score, when your passes look THIS GOOD.