The large fleshy arms of Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic are often nicked with grody, raw-looking war wounds, puffy and raised and inflamed to a shocking bright red. Lots of big NBA centers spend their nights getting mauled inside, but none of them cut and bleed and look like they have been fighting off an angry bobcat quite like Jokic. Perhaps opposing wing defenders dig down and swipe at the ball more often against Jokic, who after all is the two-time reigning league MVP. Perhaps it is the strategy of opposing wing defenders to file their nails to terrifying Hell-Cat Maggie-esque claws. Very often Jokic looks like he approached the arena via a dense, overgrown briar patch. It's distracting, and in fact is often downright disgusting. Look at this:
The worst of Jokic's current spread of appalling arm wounds is in fact not that nauseating five-inch gash across his right tricep. It's the deep, shockingly thick, horrifyingly meandering gash across his upper left arm, seen in the image atop this blog. That photo was taken Sunday night, after Jokic led his Nuggets to a hard-fought 134-124 overtime victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. The wound had mostly scabbed over, but its bold contrast with his splotchy, glistening skin was no less gut-churning. Hard as it may be to believe, the wound was caused by a human finger, in the first quarter of Denver's loss Saturday to the punishing Memphis Grizzlies. Denver's trainer splashed some iodine on that grody sucker and sent an oozing Jokic back out there to ruin the appetites of an audience of millions.
Back in 2019, Jokic said that he would take measures to cut down on the appearance of gnarly suppurating gashes to his vulnerable arms, acknowledging that he routinely leads the league in scratches. "I'm always bleeding—I'm used to it," Jokic told ESPN reporter Ohm Youngmisuk. "I am going to wear sleeves next year—100 percent." It was a lie! When Jokic stepped in for the opening tip of the 2019–20 season, those huge blotchy arms were bare as ever, showing off a hideous, greying, five-inch scar across his upper left arm, earned the previous season. By mid-December of that season Jokic's arms were speckled with minor nicks and had a painful, tenderized look. His first truly revolting major arm wound of that season appeared on Jan. 19, a serpentine gash of varying depth, puckered-looking and scabbed-over, traveling from his left pec across his shoulder and down his left bicep. Puke!
Every dang season there's at least one of these sickening scars, but this season Jokic's arms look worse than ever. The man looks like he fell out of bed and into a tangle of razor wire. If NBA defenders cannot be compelled to file their nails, then Jokic must be compelled to wear protective clothing. I would like to watch a Nuggets game from the second half of an NBA season without having my damn dinner spoiled by awful flayed arm meat.