Nikola Jokic Suspended One Game; Markieff Morris, Jimmy Butler Fined

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been suspended for one game for shoving Heat forward Markieff Morris to the court during Denver’s home win on Monday. Nikola Jokic Michael Malone

The NBA announced the suspension in a statement Tuesday night.

Jokic was retaliating to a Flagrant 2 foul from Morris, who used a mild shoulder check to slow Jokic around midcourt late in the game. Both players were immediately ejected following the incident.

Both Morris and Heat guard/forward Jimmy Butler were fined — with Morris receiving a $50,000 fine for his role in the incident, and Butler being docked $30,000 for what the league called “attempting to escalate” the drama between Jokic and Morris, as well as for “failing to comply with an NBA Security interview.”

Photos depicted Heat players waiting for Jokic and the Nuggets outside the locker room after the game, before security intervened. 

“It’s a stupid play. I feel bad, I’m not supposed to react that way,” Jokic said. “But it’s in the middle of the game, I get hit. … I think it was a dirty play (by Morris) and then I just needed to protect myself.

“I felt bad. I’m not supposed to react that way, and to not get thrown out of a game. I cannot help my team win the game, which is the most important thing. It happens, I feel bad.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave his own take on the incident.

“It’s just absolutely uncalled for, and it would have looked a lot different, this whole thing could have been a lot uglier if Markieff was actually facing Jokic,” Spoelstra said. “The fact that he had his back turned, and he made a play like that, blindsiding, it was just a very dangerous play.”

Jokic, 26, is the reigning NBA MVP. He is averaging 25.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 10 games this season.

He will serve his suspension during Wednesday’s home game vs. the Pacers.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply