“He’ll Put the Weight on Himself When He Knows That They Need It” – Bill Simmons Compares Nikola Jokic to Patrick Mahomes

In the world of sports, few things captivate fans more than seeing an athlete rise to the occasion when their team needs it the most. Bill Simmons, a renowned sports analyst, recently drew a compelling comparison between two of today’s most exceptional athletes: Nikola Jokic of the NBA and Patrick Mahomes of the NFL. Simmons’ assertion that “He’ll put the weight on himself when he knows that they need it” highlights a unique quality both athletes share. But what exactly does this mean, and why does it resonate so strongly with fans? Let’s dive into the fascinating parallels between Jokic and Mahomes, exploring their leadership, the pressures they face, and their impact on their respective sports.

The Essence of Leadership in Sports

Leadership in sports isn’t just about stats or physical prowess; it’s about inspiring a team, stepping up under pressure, and being a reliable force when it counts the most. Both Jokic and Mahomes exemplify these qualities in ways that transcend their individual sports. They show up when their teams are in a bind, leading by example and lifting their teammates with their performance and presence.

Who is Nikola Jokic?

Nikola Jokic, often referred to as “The Joker,” is the center for the Denver Nuggets and one of the most versatile big men in NBA history. Jokic has redefined the role of a center with his playmaking ability, court vision, and scoring prowess. His unique skill set allows him to act as the focal point of the Nuggets’ offense, orchestrating plays much like a point guard. Jokic’s calm demeanor and clutch performances have earned him a reputation as a player who thrives under pressure.

Who is Patrick Mahomes?

Patrick Mahomes is the superstar quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, known for his incredible arm strength, agility, and football IQ. Mahomes burst onto the NFL scene, quickly establishing himself as one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the league. His ability to make improbable throws and his composure in high-stakes situations have led the Chiefs to multiple deep playoff runs and a Super Bowl victory. Mahomes embodies the modern quarterback, combining athleticism with strategic brilliance.

Bill Simmons: A Voice of Authority

Bill Simmons is a prominent sports analyst and writer, known for his insightful commentary and deep understanding of various sports. His comparisons and analyses often spark conversations among fans and experts alike. When Simmons compares Jokic to Mahomes, it carries weight because of his track record of astute observations and his ability to contextualize the achievements and qualities of athletes within the broader sports landscape.

Understanding the Comparison

Simmons’ comparison of Jokic and Mahomes centers around their ability to handle immense pressure and deliver when their teams need them the most. Both athletes have shown time and again that they can elevate their game in crucial moments, a trait that separates great players from truly legendary ones. This comparison isn’t just about their physical talents, but also their mental toughness and leadership qualities.

The Pressure of Expectations

Both Jokic and Mahomes entered their respective leagues with high expectations. Jokic, despite being a second-round pick, quickly proved he was a unique talent capable of dominating the NBA. Mahomes, a first-round pick, had the weight of becoming the franchise quarterback for the Chiefs. The expectations from fans, media, and their teams could have been overwhelming, but both athletes embraced the challenge.

Stepping Up When It Matters

The hallmark of both Jokic’s and Mahomes’ careers is their ability to perform under pressure. Whether it’s Jokic hitting a game-winning shot or Mahomes orchestrating a last-minute touchdown drive, they both have a knack for rising to the occasion. This clutch performance underpins Simmons’ comparison, illustrating how both athletes “put the weight on themselves” during critical moments.

Different Sports, Same Impact

Basketball and football are vastly different sports with unique demands and pressures. However, the impact that a single player can have in pivotal moments is a common thread. Jokic controls the tempo of a basketball game, making plays that can shift momentum. Similarly, Mahomes’ decision-making and play execution can change the course of a football game. Their ability to influence the game so profoundly is a testament to their exceptional skills and leadership.

The Mental Game

Much of what sets Jokic and Mahomes apart is their mental fortitude. Both athletes possess a high level of focus and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Jokic’s unflappable nature and Mahomes’ cool demeanor in chaotic moments reflect a mental toughness that is essential for leading a team. This psychological strength enables them to make smart decisions and execute plays when the stakes are highest.

Team Dynamics and Personal Sacrifice

Leadership also involves understanding and managing team dynamics. Jokic and Mahomes both demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice personal accolades for the betterment of their teams. Jokic’s selfless playstyle, prioritizing assists and involving teammates, mirrors Mahomes’ readiness to distribute the ball and make the right play rather than the flashy one. Their leadership is rooted in making those around them better, which is a key reason why their teams trust and follow them.

Fan Perspectives and Media Influence

The way fans and media perceive Jokic and Mahomes also plays a significant role in their narratives. Both athletes have become beloved figures not just for their skills but for their humble attitudes and relatable personalities. The media often highlights their clutch performances, further solidifying their reputations as leaders who step up under pressure. This public perception amplifies their status as icons in their sports.

Future Legacies

As Jokic and Mahomes continue their careers, their legacies will undoubtedly grow. They are already considered among the best in their respective sports, and their continued success will only enhance their standing. Their ability to consistently perform in high-pressure situations will be a significant part of how they are remembered. Fans and analysts alike will look back on their careers as exemplars of leadership and clutch performance.


Bill Simmons’ comparison of Nikola Jokic to Patrick Mahomes underscores a profound truth about leadership in sports. Both athletes exemplify the ability to shoulder responsibility and deliver when it matters most. Their performances under pressure, mental toughness, and leadership qualities make them not just stars in their respective sports, but symbols of what it means to be a true leader. As fans, we are privileged to witness their journeys and the impact they have on their teams and sports.


1. What makes Nikola Jokic and Patrick Mahomes similar?

Nikola Jokic and Patrick Mahomes are similar in their ability to perform under pressure, their leadership qualities, and their impact on their teams during crucial moments.

2. Why did Bill Simmons compare Jokic to Mahomes?

Bill Simmons compared Jokic to Mahomes to highlight their shared trait of stepping up and putting the weight on themselves during critical times, showcasing their leadership and clutch performance.

3. How do Jokic and Mahomes handle pressure?

Both Jokic and Mahomes handle pressure with remarkable calm and focus, delivering exceptional performances when their teams need them the most.

4. What impact do Jokic and Mahomes have on their teams?

Jokic and Mahomes have a profound impact on their teams by elevating their teammates’ performances, making smart decisions under pressure, and consistently delivering in high-stakes situations.

5. How are Jokic and Mahomes viewed by fans and media?

Fans and media view Jokic and Mahomes as humble, relatable, and exceptionally talented leaders who consistently perform in clutch situations, earning them widespread admiration and respect.

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