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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Nikola Jokic

NBA announces punishments for Nikola Jokic-Markieff Morris incident

Nikola Jokic's cheap shot on Markieff Morris

The NBA on Tuesday announced its punishments for the Nikola Jokic-Markieff Morris incident.

Jokic was suspended one game by the league for pushing Morris in the back in response to a Flagrant 2 foul from the forward. Morris was fined $50,000 for his Flagrant 2 foul that led to the altercation between them.

Additionally, Jimmy Butler was fined $30,000 for escalating the matter and not complying with an NBA security interview.

Morris rammed into Jokic around midcourt late in his Miami Heat’s 113-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. Jokic was livid and responded by ramming into Morris, who had turned his back (video here).

Butler was seen challenging Jokic to fight, according to this video. The Heat also tried challenging the Nuggets after the game, a viral photo showed.

The matter drew plenty of attention on Tuesday after Jokic’s brothers got into it with the Morris brothers on Twitter.

The matter has been resolved from the league’s standpoint, but there will likely be some lingering hard feelings between those involved.

Udonis Haslem slams ESPN analyst for ‘bulls–t’ take on Jokic-Morris incident

Udonis Haslem

The OG of the Miami Heat is speaking out on the incident between Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris from Monday’s game.

ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson had an Instagram post on Tuesday where he essentially said that Jokic, though wrong for retaliating, would not have done so if Morris had not fouled him first.

“Naw RJ. I disagree,” Haslem commented on the post. “Jokic takes fouls on people like that all the time to stop the break. So idk what the big deal was. Secondly I’ve been in my share of brawls. Dishing and taking. You don’t hit nobody in the back who is walking away after taking one. That’s bulls–t and you better than that bra!!!”

Haslem’s Heat teammates certainly agreed that Jokic was out of pocket for his reaction. The viral photo of them waiting out in the hallway for the Nuggets afterwards shows just as much.

As for Haslem himself, he has definitely seen it all in his 19 seasons in the NBA. Even in his 40s, Haslem is not afraid to go after opponents head-on.

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Viral photo shows Heat waiting in hall for Nuggets after Jokic-Morris incident

Jimmy Butler

The Miami Heat players were apparently waiting for the Denver Nuggets after Monday’s game like Bishop behind Q’s locker in “Juice.”

Photographer Aaron Ontiveroz of the Denver Post posted an incredible picture to his Instagram page of the Heat gathering in the hallway after Denver’s Nikola Jokic delivered a cheap shot on Miami’s Markieff Morris (video here). Ontiveroz writes that the Heat players, led by Jimmy Butler, were looking to confront the Nuggets but that security intervened.

In the picture, you can see Butler and other Heat players (including Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, and Dewayne Dedmon) glaring menacingly. Andy Elisburg, the GM of the Heat, appears to be the one preventing them from going any further. None of Miami’s players were made available to the media for comment after Monday’s game.

That amazing picture of the Heat definitely adds to the overall surrealness of the Jokic-Morris episode. We haven’t seen anything quite like this one since the incident that took place in Los Angeles a few years ago.

Photo: Jan 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Markieff Morris issues response after Nikola Jokic cheap shot

Nikola Jokic's cheap shot on Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris is offering his first public comments since getting hit with a cheap shot by Nikola Jokic on Monday night.

The Miami Heat forward took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the incident where he committed a flagrant foul against the Denver Nuggets star Jokic, who then retaliated with a violent blow to Morris’ back (video here).

“I love to see the hate!” Morris wrote to his nearly 100,000 followers. “No doubt I took a hard foul which I always do but I’ve never hit a man with his back turned! Luckily we built different over here. I can take my licks and keep pushing. Joker 1 smooth 0 lol.”

A stretcher was brought out at one point for Morris after the hit, but he eventually walked off under his own power. The Heat said that the veteran forward sustained an “apparent neck injury” and would undergo further testing. The two teams will meet again later this month on Nov. 29.

In the meantime, it has turned out to be an eventful Round 2 of the Jokic-Morris beef on Twitter. Even their brothers are now getting into it with threatening tweets to one another.

Nikola Jokic’s brothers create Twitter account to threaten Marcus Morris

Nikola Jokic and his brothers

Nikola Jokic will likely be suspended for the cheap shot he took at Markieff Morris on Monday night, but the fallout from the scrum is now extending well beyond the court.

Jokic delivered a blow to Morris’ back late in the Denver Nuggets’ win over the Miami Heat. The angry reaction came in response to Morris fouling Jokic with a hard shot to the ribs. Morris was injured on the play, but he eventually walked off the court under his own power. You can see the video of the incident here.

After the game, Morris’ twin brother Marcus took to Twitter to issue a warning for Jokic. He pointed out how Jokic “waited until bro turned his back” and wrote “NOTED,” meaning he will not forget the cheap shot from the reigning NBA MVP. Now, Jokic’s brothers are also standing up for their family member.

The Twitter account @JokicBrothers was created on Tuesday morning. It seemed like the sole purpose was to threaten Marcus Morris.

While most people initially assumed that the account was fake, it apparently is not. Jokic’s brothers confirmed to Mike Singer of the Denver Post that they created the account.

Jokic’s brothers, Nemanja and Strahinja, are well known within the NBA community. They go everywhere with Nikola and have a reputation for being intimidating guys. The Nuggets star told Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated years ago that Strahinja “once held down my arms and threw knives all around my head” as punishment for refusing to climb a tree.

If you remember, Jokic’s brothers looked like they wanted a piece of Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker during the playoffs last year when Nikola was ejected over an altercation with Booker. You can see the video here.

The NBA will almost certainly ask the Morris twins and the Jokic brothers to tone it down. Whether or not they’ll listen is another discussion.

H/T Loyal LBS reader Brett K

Markieff Morris has ‘apparent neck injury’ after cheap shot from Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic's cheap shot on Markieff Morris

Monday’s game between the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets turned ugly late in the fourth quarter and resulted in an injury to one player.

With the Nuggets leading 111-94 with just under three minutes left, Heat forward Markieff Morris gave Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic a blow to the ribs as he brought the ball up the floor. Jokic responded with a cheap shot to Morris’ back that knocked him down and sparked a skirmish.

Morris remained down on the court for a prolonged period. At one point, a stretcher was even brought in, and Morris had to be stabilized. He would eventually walk off under his own power though.

Jokic was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct foul and Morris was given a Flagrant 2 foul. Both players were ejected from the game.

Heat star Jimmy Butler was not happy about the cheap shot and could be seen challenging Jokic from the other sideline.

After the game, the Heat said that Morris had sustained “an apparent neck injury.” Head coach Erik Spoelstra added that Morris was moving around in the locker room and that he would undergo further tests.

It is true that Morris’ initial foul was both unnecessary and excessive, likely out of frustration that the Heat were down big. But for Jokic to retaliate with a violent blow when Morris had his back turned to him was completely uncalled-for and could result in a lengthy suspension.

Both players do have a history of this kind of behavior. Morris is a notorious instigator and has even kicked players in the nuts before. As for Jokic, he had a similar cheap shot on Phoenix’s Cam Payne in last year’s playoffs.

Rockets center throws shade at Nikola Jokic after game

Nikola Jokic

The reigning NBA MVP had an opponent talking wild after Saturday’s game.

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets beat the Houston Rockets in a tight 95-94 affair. Rockets center Christian Wood was asked after the game about the difficulties of matching up with Jokic and responded with some shade.

“Wasn’t difficult,” said Wood, per Rockets writer Jackson Gatlin. “I think it could have been better if I was more involved in the offense.”

Jokic finished with a stout line of 28 points and 14 rebounds, including the game-winning block as time expired. Wood had 12 points and 17 rebounds, but shot just 4-for-11 from the field. He was also third on the Rockets in field goal attempts behind Kevin Porter Jr. and Daniel Theis.

As a low-post werewolf with god-tier passing ability and a sweet-like-candy jump shot to boot, Jokic is one of the toughest covers in the NBA today. He even has a long history of barbecuing the league’s best defenders. But Wood clearly does not think that Jokic is all that, despite taking a fat L from him on Saturday.

Photo: Apr 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Watch: Lauri Markkanen stared down Nikola Jokic after big dunk on him

Lauri Markkanen dunks on Nikola Jokic

Lauri Markkanen smashed on Nikola Jokic on Monday, and then he did some celebrating.

Markkanen, who is in his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, scored the first points of his team’s game against Jokic’s Denver Nuggets.

Markkanen got a steal then went coast-to-coast and took off for a dunk attempt from a few feet in front of the free throw line. He dunked over Jokic, who was trying to draw a charge.

After dunking the ball, Markkanen stared down Jokic.

Look at the disrespect! That’s the reigning league MVP, and Markkanen showed no regard for him!

Jokic isn’t a big dunker, so maybe he’ll have to settle for recording a triple-double to get revenge.

Nikola Jokic explains what he does not like about being MVP

Nikola Jokic

Countless NBA players dream about one day winning the Most Valuable Player Award, but Nikola Jokic is revealing one downside that comes with it.

The Denver Nuggets star addressed reporters Wednesday. Jokic took home MVP honors last year and explained his one worry about being the winner.

“It’s not really fun being a celebrity,” said Jokic, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

The 26-year-old added that he was hoping the award would not increase his profile, saying that he would rather have nobody know him than to have everybody know him.

Jokic became the first center to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. With his versatile averages of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game for Denver last season, the award was certainly well-deserved.

At 6-foot-11, it was probably already hard enough for Jokic to keep a low profile. Now all the MVP attention may complicate matters even further. Perhaps Jokic’s new physical profile will help him regain some anonymity.

Nikola Jokic looks extremely slim in new workout video

Nikola Jokic

Fresh off winning MVP last season for the Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic looks hungry for more.

The Nuggets tweeted a video on Thursday of Jokic looking extremely slim during a workout. The 26-year-old was Eurostepping with a medicine ball, doing finger rolls, and even throwing down reverse dunks. Take a look:

The three-time All-Star Jokic is known for his large frame at 6-foot-11 with an official playing weight of 284 pounds. He is even nicknamed “Big Honey” and has joked about his weight in the past.

Jokic did already slim down considerably last year, but that may have been due in part to a bout with COVID-19. Now that Jokic looks healthy and trim at the same time, the league may not be ready for the wrath that he is about to unleash.