Nikola Jokic On Mat Ishbia: He’s A Fan, He Can’t Influence The Game
Late in the first half of Game 4 of the Denver Nuggets-Phoenix Suns second-round playoff series, things got heated. Nikola Jokic was assessed a technical foul after he knocked Suns owner Mat Ishbia back after a courtside confrontation.
After a play, Ishbia found himself with the ball in his hands. Jokic tried to take the ball to set up a quick inbounds play. When the ball fell into another fan’s hands, Jokic pushed Ishbia back with his forearm and Ishbia fell into his seat.
Jokic was given a technical foul for making deliberate contact with a spectator, which neither he nor anyone from the Nuggets thought was fair.
“(Official Tony Brothers) told me I was elbowing the fan,” Jokic said. “But the fan put the hand on me first. So, I thought the league’s supposed to protect us or whatever, but maybe I’m wrong, so we will see.”
Jokic added, “He’s a fan, isn’t he? He cannot influence the game by holding the ball.”
Denver coach Michael Malone said he thought it was “crazy” that Nokic got a technical foul. When asked if it being Ishbia made a difference, Malone was clear in his thoughts.
“I don’t give a s***. I really don’t care,” Malone replied.