Denver Nuggets star and current MVP Nikola Jokic was suspended a game without pay for his retaliatory body movement on Miami Heat forward Markieff Morris on Monday night.
Morris was fined $ 50,000 for a flagrant foul 2 on Jokic.
The Nuggets will not have their franchise center against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Jokic was sent off with 2:39 left to play in a 113-96 win over the Heat after he took offense at a foul by Morris. Jokic bounced the ball onto the court as he passed the ball near the middle of the court. The Heat forward, trying to stop the game, took a sharp foul with his left elbow to Jokic’s exposed right side as the center was delivering an overhead pass. As Morris walked away, a livid Jokic took a couple of steps and threw a strong shove to the right forearm with his weight behind him at Morris’s back, sending the Heat forward flying hard to the ground.
Emotions from the skirmish spilled onto social media when the brothers of both NBA players intervened. Morris’s twin brother, Marcus Morris of the LA Clippers, chimed in on Twitter hinting that Jokic pushed his twin brother from behind and that he will remember. that.
“I waited until the brother turned his back, smh,” Marcus Morris tweeted Monday night with an emoji of a hand with a pen writing something.
That prompted Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, to open a Twitter account called “@JokicBrothers” to reply to Marcus Morris, Jokic’s brothers confirmed to The Denver Post.
The newly created account tweeted: “You should just leave this alone instead of publicly threatening our brother! Your brother made a dirty move first. If you want to go one step further, make sure we’ll be waiting for you !!”
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra made it clear that he thought Jokic’s retaliation was “dirty.”
“That was a very dangerous and dirty play,” Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “Keef fouled and it was one of those fast counterattack fouls and he did it with his shoulder. You might think it might be a bit more than just slapping someone, but after seeing it in the movie it was a foul. That’s right. as I saw it. And the subsequent play is absolutely unnecessary. “
Jokic left with a triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The reigning MVP said he felt the need to protect himself but felt bad after seeing how hard he pushed Morris from behind.
“It’s a stupid move,” 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 foul … I think it was a foul play. And I just needed to protect myself. I felt bad. I am not supposed to react in any way. that way, but I need to take care of myself. “
Jokic later added: “I don’t know who showed me the clip and actually his head was thrown back [después del empujón] so I feel really bad … it’s a bad move. “
The Nuggets will now be without their top three players against the Pacers. They are without the injured Jamal Murray, who is recovering from a torn ACL injury, and will play without Michael Porter Jr., due to a low back injury.
Spoelstra said Morris was fine after the hard foul and was moving in the locker room.
“All of this could have been a lot uglier if Markieff took on Jokic,” Spoelstra said. “The fact that he turned his back on him and made a play like that, putting him in the dark, it was a very dangerous play.”
The altercation resulted in both the coaching staff and the officers trying to keep the peace. As Jokic sat on the bench while things were still sorting out on the court, emotions rose when Miami’s Jimmy Butler yelled at the Nuggets and had to be held down.
“The video and the image are worth a thousand words,” Spoelstra added when asked about the mood of the Heat players after the incident.