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Nuggets’ Jokic fined $25k, but won’t be suspended for Game 4 scuffle with Suns owner

Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic will be fined $25k – but won’t be suspended – for his role in a scuffle with Suns owner Mat Ishbia last night
Nuggets Suns Basketball
Posted at 3:23 PM, May 08, 2023

DENVER — Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic will be fined $25,000 – but won't be suspended – for his role in a sideline scuffle with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia during Sunday night’s Game 4.

During the second quarter of that game, Jokic chased a ball into the courtside seats. He tried to grab the ball from Ishbia – presumably to quickly inbound it while Suns small forward was on the ground – but Ishbia held onto the ball.

In the exchange, Jokic extended his forearm and made contact with Ishbia, who fell backward into his seat.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said Ishbia dramatized the physical contact.

“I was hoping they’d give [Ishbia] a flopping charge,” Malone said. “That’s probably the only fine I could imagine. [...] Nikola was just trying to get the ball. I felt the embellishment was almost comical from my standpoint.”

Both Malone and Jokic said after Sunday’s game that Ishbia shouldn’t be treated differently than any other fan, and that he interfered with the flow of the game by holding onto the ball.

"The fan put his hand on me first," Jokic said. "I thought the league was supposed to protect [players] but maybe I'm wrong."

Malone, Jokic react to sideline incident with Suns owner Mat Ishbia

Ishbia, for his part, wrote on social media Monday morning that he doesn't believe Jokic should be punished.

"Suspending or fining anyone over last night's incident would not be right," he wrote.

Jokic scored 53 points in the Game 4 loss.