The Jokic brothers, older siblings to two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, have become the league’s most salient NBA family members. However, how much is really known about them? Below is a deep dive into the lives of Strahinja, the eldest Jokic, and Nemanja, the middle brother.
On the surface, the Jokic brothers seem like your typical supportive family members. Known for their ubiquitous presence at Jokic’s games, as well as their fervent demeanor on the sidelines, Strahinja and Nemanja Jokic are always by their younger brother’s side. There is more than meets the eye, though, as the pair of Serbians are scintillating individuals.
Born in 1982, Strahinja Jokic is the eldest of three brothers. Like his two-time MVP youngest sibling Nikola Jokic, Strahinja also has a penchant for basketball. In fact, he is the inspiration behind Nikola’s NBA journey.
Standing at 6’8, the Serbian native played basketball in Europe for much of his life. Being over a decade older than Nikola, the future NBA All-Star garnered exposure to the world of hoops at a young age. Since he watched his older brother compete across the continent, Nikola quickly became emboldened to pursue basketball full-time. Albeit, it wasn’t Strahinja’s skills that Nikola aimed to emulate.
The oldest brother’s playstyle parallels that of Kendrick Perkins, Nikola told Bleacher Report in 2017. “He’s not that talented,” Nikola said with mirth. But he hates to lose.”
With a burgeoning star in the family, Strahinja quickly took on the role of stalwart supporter or protector. He became known for attending all of Nikola’s games, as well as getting effusive on the sidelines. His animated proclivities stem from his father, who would often get quite effervescent.
“Our dad is really passionate about watching the games,” Nemanja Jokic said in 2017. “He screams, yells. Nobody sits around him.”
Evidently, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Strahinja would punch chairs in tight ball games and even remove himself to assuage his frustration.
Strahinja, however, also has a sordid past. In 2019, he was arrested on suspicion of assault. Upon drinking, he allegedly choked and pushed a woman in his apartment. He then precluded her from leaving by shoving her. She reportedly tried to go to the balcony to yell for help but Strahinja choked her, threatening to do so until she fell asleep.
The woman was able to use a computer to message for help. The person she contacted then called the police.
Strahinja was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, two misdemeanors, false imprisonment and obstruction of phone service. Ultimately, he pled guilty in February 2020 to a misdemeanor count of obstruction of phone service and felony trespassing. The other charges were dismissed.
He received a deferred sentence. Therefore, he would not face any penalties as long as he followed the rules of unsupervised probation and did not commit another crime before Feb. 3, 2022. Consequently, the criminal case against Strahinja was dismissed.
Nemanja Jokic, born in 1984, is the second-oldest of three brothers. He was also a basketball player growing up. Despite being the shortest of the bunch at 6’6, he was the first successful hooper of the three. Nermanja played Division I basketball at the University of Detroit Mercy. For his career as a Titan, he averaged 3.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game.
His athletic prowess doesn’t stop with basketball, though, as he is also a professional fighter. In 2019, he began his career as an MMA fighter. While he hasn’t stepped foot in the ring recently, Nemanja does boast an undefeated record of 3-0; all of his wins are via knockout.
The Jokic brothers always have their younger brother’s back
Strahinja and Nemanja Jokic first burst onto the scene after a video of them having to be held back by Nuggets security guards went viral in 2021. During the third quarter of Game 4 of the Suns-Nuggets series, Nikola Jokic was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul on Cameron Payne. Following the incident, Suns star Devin Booker accosted the Serbian big man.
That prompted Strahinja and Nemanja to nearly rush the court in defense of their younger brother. Fortunately, Denver’s security was able to restrict the Jokic brothers.
The Jokic brothers vs. Morris brothers
Another salient set of NBA brothers is the Morris twins. Marcus Morris Sr., who plays for the Clippers, and Markieff Morris, who plays for the Nets, are known for being some of the toughest players in the league.
Worlds collided last season when the Nuggets squared off against the Heat in Denver. Late in the fourth quarter, while Jokic was bringing up the ball in transition, then-Heat forward Markieff Morris committed a hard take foul. Jokic retaliated by shoving an unsuspecting Morris in the back. While Morris was on the ground for an extended period of time, he eventually walked to the locker room of his own volition.
Postgame, Morris’ twin brother, Marcus, took to Twitter to comment on the altercation. He stated, “waited till bro turned his back [shaking my head]. NOTED.”
Consequently, it didn’t take long for the Jokic brothers to create a Twitter page and reply to Morris. In a since-deleted Tweet, they said, “your brother made a dirty play first. If you want to make a step further be sure we will be waiting for you.”
Morris then replied, “Momma said don’t talk on social media no more! Well there you have it.” The Jokic brothers responded by saying, “you got the right ones believe that!”
Markieff Morris also addressed the situation. He talked about never hitting a man when his back is turned and jokingly gave Jokic a 1-0 advantage.
Nikola Jokic was remorseful, however, apologizing after the game for his behavior.
Only time will tell whether or not the Jokic brothers will make headlines for defending their younger brother again. In the meantime, though, you can be sure to catch them cheering Nikola on from the sidelines.