BlogShaq, Barkley Defend The Joker In Pushing Incident

November 10, 2021

It wasn’t quite a bench-clearing fight, but there were a few tense moments on the floor during a Denver Nuggets / Miami Heat game this week. Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic has ended up being suspended for one game after being ejected from the contest with the Heat. 

It started when Jokic was bumped by Heat forward Markieff Morris. The player they call The Joker made a quick and forceful retaliation… an even bigger bump that sent Morris to the floor. 

By the time things cleared, a stretcher was brought to the floor for Morris, but he was able to walk off under his own power. He was also ejected from the game. Afterwards, the Heat announced Morries was suffering from an apparent neck injury. In addition to Morris and Jokic, Miami star Jimmy Butler received a technical foul for his reaction to the play.

Money-wise, Morris was fined $50,000 for committing a Flagrant Foul 2 on Jokic, while Butler was given a $30,000 fine for attempting to escalate the altercation.

Click the link below the video to see the action:

As for Jokic himself, the reigning MVP was remorseful postgame, describing his actions as a “bad move.” “I felt bad, for real. I don’t know who showed me the clip and I saw his head snap back. I feel really bad. It was a reaction. It’s a bad move.”

On Inside the NBA that night, TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley weighed in on the tussle between Jokic and Morris, offering words of defense for the Serbian big man. 

“He gave him a shot in the back and whiplashed him,” Ernie Johnson said when Barkley asked what Jokic did to deserve a suspension.

“Hold on, Ernie,” Shaq replied. “It’s called retaliation. First of all, when you hit me, don’t turn around.”

Shaq talked about a famous (or infamous) fight he’d had during playing days with Chicago Bulls big man Brad Miller. 

Shaq: “As a big guy, when a little guy hits you, you gotta touch him on the back. I have no problem with what The Joker did, I actually like it as a big guy. You got these guys foulin’ ’em, hanging on. He hit him, intentional, unnecessary roughness, so what do you do as a big guy? You go hit him back. When you hit me, don’t turn your head, because it’s coming. You’re either gonna get it in the front, or you’re gonna get it in the back.”

While frontman Ernie Johnson said it looked to him like dirty play, Charles Barkley had other thoughts, and they were similar to what Shaq expressed: “Morris started it, let’s get [that] first. Joker retaliated, and then people say, ‘Well, he hit him in the back.’ Well, if you hit me, I’m with Shaq on this. Let me tell you something Ernie — if you hit me, you better not turn your damn back, because I’m coming back at you. You can’t hit somebody and turn your back.”

All we know is… it should be very interesting to see what happens the next time these two teams square off! Stay tuned…

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