Jokic fined $25,000 for clash with Suns owner

Serbian Nikola Jokic, a center for the Denver Nuggets, was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his clash on Sunday with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, but he was not punished with a suspension, so he will be able to play the fifth game of the Western Conference semifinals.

Joe Dumars, NBA chief of operations, decided to fine Jokic for “untimely contact” with Ishbia, the league said in a statement. Jokic, NBA MVP in 2021 and 2022, faced a possible suspension from the NBA, something that would prevent him from playing a momentous game for the balance of a series that sees the Nuggets and Suns tied 2-2.

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The events date back to the second period of Game 4 of the series, when a loose ball ended up out of bounds and into the hands of Suns owner Ishbia. Jokic approached the first row to catch the ball and serve as soon as possible but Ishbia held it back, so the Serbian, with a surprised gesture, pushed the owner of Phoenix slightly with his elbow.

Ishbia conspicuously exaggerated the contact and he fell sitting in his chair without any consequence, while another spectator, who would end up expelled from the pavilion, pushed Jokic. Jokic took a technical foul after the referees reviewed what happened. The owner of the Suns posted a message on his Twitter account in which he considered that “suspending or fining people for what happened last night would be wrong.” “I have a lot of respect for Jokic and I don’t want to see any of that (sanctions)”, said.

2023-05-09 10:41:35
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