Things got heated in Denver on Monday night (Nov.8).
Denver Nuggets phenomenal big man Nikola Jokic could be looking at a suspension from the NBA after the reigning league MVP was ejected with 2 minutes, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Refs gave Jokic the boot after pushing Miami Heat power forward Markieff Morris n the back in retaliation to a hard foul from Morris, who referees also ejected.
Preceding the incident, Jokic rebounded the ball and brought it downcourt. While Jokic passed the ball midcourt, Morris fouled Jokic by running into him with a forearm into his exposed right side. Jokic retaliated by violently pushing Morris while his back was to Jokic, sending Morris to the floor.
Tempers immediately flared, Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler being the loudest person on the court during the dust-up, telling Jokic to “bring your a** to the back.” Butler was given a technical foul for his antics, Jokic was ejected from the game, and Morris was handed a flagrant 2, an automatic ejection.
A stretcher was brought out for Markieff Morris but wasn’t needed, and he walked off the court on his own. Following the game, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was understandably upset.
“That was a very dangerous and dirty play,” Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “Keef took a foul, and it was one of those fastbreak take fouls, and he did with his shoulder. You might deem that maybe as a little bit more than just slapping somebody, but after watching it on film, it was a take foul. That’s how I saw it. And the play after, that’s just absolutely uncalled for.”
Jokic, who doesn’t show much emotion on the court, showed a lot of remorse following his actions while talking with reporters.
“It’s a stupid play,” Jokic told reporters after the game. “I feel bad. I am not supposed to react that way. … I thought it was going to be a take foul. … I think it was a dirty play. And I just needed to protect myself. I felt bad. I am not supposed to react that way, but I need to protect myself.”
“I don’t know who showed me the clip, and actually his head snapped back [after the shove], so I feel really bad. … It’s a bad move,” Jokic added.
You can expect the NBA to suspend Jokic for his actions which would be a big blow to an already depleted Denver Nuggets team. All-star point guard Jamal Murray is still recovering from the injury he sustained last year. Michael Porter Jr. sat out last night’s game with lower back issues. When they face the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday (Nov.10), they could be without three of their best players.
Of course, the moment had #NBATwitter reacting, with some believing Jokic overreacted, Morris oversold the push, and Jokic had a right to retaliate because Morris’ foul was also very dangerous.
You can peep more reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty
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