Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic Suspended For On-Court Altercation

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets via Twitter

Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic has been suspended for one game by the league for an altercation that occurred during the Denver Nuggets’ game with the Miami Heat on Monday.

As the 6’11” Jokic brought the ball up on a 5 on 4 fast break, the Heat’s Markieff Morris took a run at the 280-pound Jokic and delivered what looked like a hockey shoulder check at midcourt. Then, as Morris turned his back to walk away, Jokic threw his shoulder into Morris from behind. The Heat player crumpled to the ground.

Heat play by play announcer Eric Reid reacted in real time on Sinclair’s local Bally Sports Florida telecast.

“Oh my! Jokic just clobbered Markieff Morris from behind,” Reid said as the Nuggets center retaliated.

Both players were ejected.

Denver went on to win the game 113-96.

Morris was fined $50,000 for his part in the altercation. His Heat guard Jimmy Butler was ordered to pay $30,000 “for attempting to escalate the altercation and refusing to comply with an NBA Security interview.”

“It’s a stupid play, I feel bad,” Jokic said after the game. “I’m not supposed to react that way. I got hit. I saw him, but I thought it was just gonna be like a take foul. He bumped me and I was like, ‘I think it was a dirty play,’ and I just needed to protect myself.”

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