Nikola Jokic sounds off on scuffle with Suns owner, makes great points

May 7, 2023, 9:39 PM | Updated: May 8, 2023, 3:33 pm

The story of Game 4 wasn’t so much that the Nuggets lost to the Suns, tying their Round 2 playoff series up 2-2.

It was the scrap between superstar Nikola Jokic and Phoenix owner Mat Ishbia late in the first half that dominated the headlines.

You can watch what happened here, but essentially on a ball out of bounds Ishbia refused to give it up to Jokic. Jokic tried to grab it away, the ball went flying in the air and Jokic gave Ishbia a little shove. The Suns owner followed with an all-time flop, and Jokic was assessed a technical foul.

After the game, referee Tony Brothers explained to a pool reporter why Jokic was given the technical foul.

“The ball went over into the corner there and one of the fans was holding the ball. Jokic came to get the ball, grabbed it away from the fan, then after that he deliberately gave him a shove and pushed him down, so he was issued an unsportsmanlike technical foul,” Brothers said.

The explanation is a bit flimsy, as if Ishbia had just surrendered the ball in the first place, there wouldn’t have been an issue. If it were any other fan, they probably would’ve been ejected.

After the game, Jokic sounded off, coming from the top rope on what should have happened. And he made several great points.

Jokic added he was simply trying to get the Nuggets a 5-on-4 advantage the other way, something he’s done many times.

Suns guard Devin Booker applauded his owner’s antics, saying he earned Phoenix a point thanks to the technical foul.

Now we’ll see if Jokic receives more discipline from the league, including a possible suspension. That would be absolutely insane given everything that transpired, but it’s the NBA, and you can’t rule anything out.

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night at Ball Arena for a pivotal Game 5.



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