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In character: Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic shows up to game dressed like "Gru" from "Despicable Me"

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In character: Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic shows up to game dressed like "Gru" from "Despicable Me"
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In character: Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic shows up to game dressed like "Gru" from "Despicable Me"

2024-04-21 12:29 Last Updated At:13:00

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic arrived in character for a first-round playoff game Saturday night.

That character was “Gru,” the protagonist from the “Despicable Me” movies.

Jokic, the two-time NBA MVP for the Denver Nuggets, wore a similar outfit and signature wrap-around striped scarf as “Gru.” It was a hit on social media, with the Nuggets posting, "going to play basketball or going to steal the moon?”

“I mean, I love the guy and I love the cartoon and why not just have a little bit of fun, too?” Jokic said after leading the Nuggets to a 114-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series.

The outfit he wore to the game appeared to be a tease to his appearance in a promotion for “Despicable Me 4,” where he seeks therapy because the Minions think he’s their boss.

In the trailer, Jokic sits on a couch in a suit while talking with a therapist. He explains how everyone thinks he looks like “Gru.”

“I thought I looked really good that day. I put on this beautiful suit that said, ‘I mean business,'" Jokic tells the therapist.

“Then what happened?” she wonders.

“They say I look like ‘Gru,’” Jokic responds.

"Why does that bother you?" she asks.

“It doesn’t,” Jokic insists.

"Then why bring it up? she inquires.

“Because they won’t leave me alone,” Jokic says.

Jokic then walks over to a window and pulls up a shade to reveal a handful of Minions cheering for “Gru” from outside.

“Guys, I’m not your boss," Jokic says.

Jokic is the certainly boss on the court for the Nuggets, averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and nine assists this season. He's the favorite to win a third MVP award, according to BetMGM Sportsbook. He was the MVP of the finals last season when the Nuggets captured their first NBA title in franchise history.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic warms up prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round play off game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic warms up prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round play off game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

HOUSTON (AP) — As the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency toured the Houston area on Tuesday to assess the damage from last week’s deadly storms, local officials reassured residents still without power that their lights would be back on and they could soon begin rebuilding their lives.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said crews with CenterPoint Energy had been working hard to restore power to residents dealing with temperatures of about 90 degrees (32 Celsius) and heat indexes approaching 100 degrees (38 Celsius).

At the height of the power outages, nearly 1 million people in the Houston area were without electricity. By Tuesday evening, that was down to less than 95,000.

“We’re on top of it. No one is being neglected,” Whitmire said.

The widespread destruction of last Thursday’s storms left at least eight dead and brought much of Houston to a standstill. Thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds tore through the city, reducing businesses and other structures to piles of debris, uprooting trees and shattering glass from downtown skyscrapers. A tornado also touched down near the northwest Houston suburb of Cypress.

Some downtown streets remained closed as crews continued cleaning up glass as the strong winds damaged 3,250 windows on high-rise buildings. Officials said it could take months to repair all the windows.

The deadly winds tore through a wide swath of Harris County, where Houston is located, causing damage and knocking out the power in both lower income and wealthier neighborhoods.

Last week’s storms took place as the Houston area and several Texas counties to the north were still recovering from flooding caused by heavy rainfall in late April and early May.

FEMA has approved small business loans and federal disaster assistance, which can help pay for temporary housing and repairs, for both weather events.

More than 48,000 people in the affected counties that were declared disaster areas have already applied for assistance, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said Tuesday. The agency has already issued more than $1 million in help to residents.

“We know that thousands in the region are still without power. So again, I encourage you to continue to check in on your loved ones, your neighbors, your vulnerable individuals in your communities and make sure that they’re OK,” Criswell said.

Lisa Reed, a teacher who lives in the Cloverleaf neighborhood in east Harris County, had been without power for four days before finally getting it back Monday evening.

“I felt exhilarated. It was real good to be just back in my own home,” Reed said.

But Reed said one of her daughters and her son, who both live nearby, were still without power on Tuesday. Even with the power back on, some of Reed’s neighbors were dealing with sparking wires and other electrical problems.

“It’s frustrating seeing people struggle. You wish you could do more,” she said. “Everyone doesn’t have the resources.”

Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones, whose home still didn’t have power on Tuesday, said the deadly storms have had a severe impact on many lower-income residents.

In one area in the Spring Branch neighborhood in northwest Harris County, many damaged apartment complexes are “completely unlivable” with damaged roofs and debris that is not being cleaned up by landlords or owners. Briones said many of the families in these complexes are living paycheck to paycheck.

“The choice is to stay in these substandard, unlivable conditions or be homeless. And so, we are working actively on the long-term legal issues,” she said.

Michelle Hundley, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy, said the utility provider still expected to restore power to more than 90% of customers by Wednesday. If someone didn’t have power by Wednesday, it would most likely be due to damaged equipment at their home that the homeowner would need to fix.

“Certainly our linemen and all of our employees are very diligent in working to make sure that your electricity is up and running, and we will do the absolute best that we can,” Hundley said.

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia said some underserved communities might feel left out “because they see lights in nicer-looking neighborhoods go up. I just want to say you’re not forgotten. You’re not left behind.”

Authorities had initially reported the deadly storms were being blamed for at least seven deaths. On Sunday, authorities raised the total to eight to include a man who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator after his power went out.

Follow Juan A. Lozano: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, fourth from left, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms the previous week at Spring Branch in Houston, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, fourth from left, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms the previous week at Spring Branch in Houston, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, center, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms with Houston Mayor John Whitmire, right, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, center, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms with Houston Mayor John Whitmire, right, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell talks to parents while visiting damaged Sinclair Elementary School, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell talks to parents while visiting damaged Sinclair Elementary School, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, center, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms at Spring Branch in Houston, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, center, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms at Spring Branch in Houston, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell joins Houston elected officials in a press conference regarding recovery and assistance after last week's storms, Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Fondé Community Center in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell joins Houston elected officials in a press conference regarding recovery and assistance after last week's storms, Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Fondé Community Center in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee uses a portable fan provided by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's staff while visiting damaged Sinclair Elementary School, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee uses a portable fan provided by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's staff while visiting damaged Sinclair Elementary School, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

From front left, Francisco Sánchez Jr., associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo visit Sinclair Elementary School after it was damaged by severe storms from the previous week, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

From front left, Francisco Sánchez Jr., associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo visit Sinclair Elementary School after it was damaged by severe storms from the previous week, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Utility trucks line Grovewood Lane to assist recovery from last week's severe storms, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Utility trucks line Grovewood Lane to assist recovery from last week's severe storms, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Timbergrove in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

People affected by recent severe storms wait in line for assistance at a FEMA mobile unit Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch Family Development Center in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

People affected by recent severe storms wait in line for assistance at a FEMA mobile unit Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch Family Development Center in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, blue FEMA hat, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms with Houston Mayor John Whitmire, to her right, and Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones, to her left, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, blue FEMA hat, visits an apartment complex damaged by severe storms with Houston Mayor John Whitmire, to her right, and Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones, to her left, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Spring Branch in Houston. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Lisa Reed, a teacher, sits outside her home in the Harris County neighborhood of Cloverleaf near Houston on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Reed said she sat outside because it was too hot to be inside since her home was still without electricity because of last week's storms in the Houston area. The powerful storms knocked down a tree in Reed's front yard, smashing it through the windshield of a family truck. (AP Photo/ Juan A. Lozano)

Lisa Reed, a teacher, sits outside her home in the Harris County neighborhood of Cloverleaf near Houston on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Reed said she sat outside because it was too hot to be inside since her home was still without electricity because of last week's storms in the Houston area. The powerful storms knocked down a tree in Reed's front yard, smashing it through the windshield of a family truck. (AP Photo/ Juan A. Lozano)

FILE - Glass falls from above as workers clean out shattered glass at the Wells Fargo building as clean up from the previous week's storm continues in downtown Houston, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, file)

FILE - Glass falls from above as workers clean out shattered glass at the Wells Fargo building as clean up from the previous week's storm continues in downtown Houston, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, file)

FILE - Workers clean out shattered glass at the Wells Fargo building as clean up from the previous week's storm continues in downtown Houston, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, file)

FILE - Workers clean out shattered glass at the Wells Fargo building as clean up from the previous week's storm continues in downtown Houston, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, file)

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