For many of his 10 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, Dan Issel played a similar role on the floor to current Nuggets star Nikola Jokic: A versatile big man with great floor vision and who could shoot the ball.

In just his third NBA season, Jokic is widely considered one of the top young talents in the game. Issel, a Hall of Famer, sees great things in Jokic’s game.

“I think his biggest strengths on the offense end is when he plays the center position,” Issel said as he joined Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7. “He reminds me so much of Bill Walton. Just a complete player that can score, that can rebound, but the passing is his greatest asset.”

But Issel also believes there is something holding back the young Serbian.

Although Issel has a lot of great things to say about Jokic, he believes there is one thing slowing him down — that fact that he is European. Issel says Jokic does not get all of the calls that he should, and believes it is because of the way Jokic reacts on the court.

“Yeah, [Danilo] Gallinari did the exact same thing. They’ve got that stupid habit of when there’s a little bit of contact, and you know a little bit of contact can get you any calls in the NBA, but they throw their head up in the air, and they look like somebody just him them across the head with a sledgehammer,” Issel said.

That doesn’t stop Issel from heaping plenty of praise on the 22-year-old who leads the 25-23 Nuggets in rebounds (424) and assists (210).

“The Nuggets hit a home run drafting him in the second round. If the Nuggets had a little better record, and had a little more visibility across the nation, then I’m sure he’d be an All-Star, but he’s still young and developing, and I think he’s going to be a great player,” Issel said.

Issel, who is a longtime horseracing fan and who owned race horses of his own, will be joining Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson as the honored guest at “A Day at the Races Boot Camp,” where guests will be taught to read programs, etc. for horse races. The event will be held on Feb. 19; tune in to “Anything’s Possible” weekdays at 11 a.m. MT for more information.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available., including a funny story about former Nuggets’ trainer Chopper Travaglini and his love of horse racing, or listen in the podcast below.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available.

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