Marcus Camby was back in Denver this week and sat courtside for the Nuggets’ 122-113 win over the Pelicans at Ball Arena. He’s currently living in Houston but keeps close tabs on his former team. DNVR caught up with Camby, who played for the Nuggets for six seasons from 2002-2008, after Denver’s latest win to get his take on the current team, Nikola Jokic, and if the back-to-back MVP reminds him of anyone from his era.
What do you think of this team?
The team is awesome. I know Coach Malone from his parents. His father was an assistant coach of mine in New York when I played for the Knicks. I’ve known Mike for 20+ years. So I’m fond of him and we’re real tight and real close. This team is great. Jokic of course is awesome. He put on a show tonight as he does every night. I think he should win a third MVP. I like what they’re building here. The key right now is just staying healthy. Keep the guys healthy and hope you have a nice playoff run.
And defense is probably pretty important too, I’m sure from your perspective as a Defensive Player of the Year winner.
Theyre out-scoring teams. That’s the way the game is right now. When I was coming up with the Knicks and we used to play the Miami Heat, it was the first to 81 points. It’s a high-scoring game right now. That’s what the NBA wants. It’s fun. A lot of guys are shooting 3s, but I’m a defensive guy at heart.
What are your thoughts on Jokic? What do you think when you’re watching him?
He’s just unbelievable. Doesn’t have an athletic bone in his body, but he finds a way to get it done every night. His IQ, I’ve always told people is up there with guys like LeBron and Chris Paul with the way he passes and the way he distributes to his teammates. He’s a guy that can probably score 45 points a night, but he’s an unselfish ball player and I like that about him.
Does he remind you of anyone from your era?
It’s hard to say. He’s so quiet and mild-tempered. He gets the job done a la Tim Duncan. He’s probably the closest guy I can say, but there’s nobody like Jokic. He’s definitely a Hall of Famer right now.
You’re not the first one to throw out the Duncan comparison.
Yeah, it’s the way he goes about it. I had a chance to spend time with him last night. He’s just a good kid. I really love his game and I love everything about him.
Who else on this team are you a fan of?
DeAndre Jordan was my rookie when I went to the Clippers. That’s like my little brother. Anytime I get to see him is great. Jeff Green’s a good friend of mine as well. And Jamal Murray, we’ve got close ties with Coach Cal, who I played for in college at UMass. I always root for Coach Cal’s guys.
What’s it going to take for these guys to bring a championship to Denver this season?
It’s health. Porter has to stay healthy. Gordon has to stay healthy, and they just have to continue to keep playing hard and use this altitude as an advantage. Because it’s tough to play here. It’s tough to play out here in this altitude. I’m liking where they’re headed. I’m confident in this team and hopefully, this is going to be the year they get it done.