Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets’ reigning N.B.A. player, was suspended without pay for one game on Tuesday. most valuable player, was suspended without pay for one game on Tuesday after shoving Miami’s Markieff Morris to the floor during a game Monday night.
Morris was making a pass to Jokic and had less than two seconds left in the Denver victory of the Nuggets 113-96.
Jokic reacted by giving Morris a forearm to his back, sending him to floor. Both players were expelled from the game. The league assessed Morris a $50,000 penalty Tuesday for committing a flagrant offense. The league announced that Jokic would serve his suspension Wednesday when Denver hosts the Indiana Pacers.
The incident led to the formation of a group of disputatious players as well as team personnel at center court. They eventually disbanded without serious injury.
Morris remained on the ground for several minutes. A stretcher was then brought out but he eventually got up and left the area. His team stated that he had suffered a neck injury.
“He’s moving around in the locker room right now,” Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game. “We’ll do the necessary tests and do what we need to do to make sure he’s OK.”
After both players were removed, Jimmy Butler of Heat was given a technical foul for shouting at Jokic from the Denver bench. The league fined Butler $30,000 “for attempting to escalate the situation and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process pertaining to an on-court matter.”
“It’s a stupid play,” Jokic told reporters after the game. “I feel bad. I am not supposed to react that way, but I need to protect myself.”
Morris was unable to comment after the game. tweeted on Tuesday, “No doubt I took a hard foul, which I always do, but I’ve never hit a man with his back turned.”
“That was a very dangerous and dirty play,” Spoelstra told reporters of Jokic’s shove. “That’s just absolutely uncalled for.”
Jokic recorded 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and a triple-double in the game. He is currently in the top 20 in each of these categories as well as in steals and is a candidate to be M.V.P.
Jokic has made a lot of aggressive and aggressive plays over the course of his career. In Game 4 of last season’s conference semifinals against the Suns, he smacked Cameron Payne across the face when going for the ball. He was ejected and the Nuggets lost to the Suns in Game 4. Jokic had a total of 10 technical fouls last year, ranking him 11th among the league.
Monday night’s performance saw the Nuggets improve to 6-4. The Heat are 7-3, with Butler continuing his late-career revival at 25 points per match.
Source: NY Times