Family feud: Morris, Jokic bros. take it to Twitter
- Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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Emotions from NBA MVP Nikola Jokic’s retaliatory body check from behind on Miami Heat forward Markieff Morris on Monday night have spilled onto social media as the brothers of both players weighed in.
As the league looks into whether to levy any further punishment over the Denver Nuggets star’s ejection after his run-in with Morris with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter during the Denver Nuggets’ 113-96 win over the Heat, LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris, Markieff’s twin brother, chimed in on Twitter.
Marcus Morris intimated that Jokic shoving his brother from behind was shady and that he will remember it.
“Waited till bro turned his back smh. NOTED,” Marcus Morris tweeted Monday night with an emoji of a pen in hand.
That prompted Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, to open a Twitter account named “@JokicBrothers” to respond to Marcus Morris, The Denver Post reported.
The newly created account tweeted: “You should leave this the way it is instead of publicly threatening our brother! Your brother made a dirty play first. If you want to make a step further be sure we will be waiting for you !! Jokic Brothers”
Nikola Jokic faces the likely possibility of a suspension after he took exception to a foul by Markieff Morris. Jokic rebounded the ball and brought it down court when he passed the ball near midcourt. The Heat forward, trying to stop play, gave a hard foul with his left elbow to Jokic’s exposed right side as the center was delivering an overhead pass. As Morris walked away, an irate Jokic took a couple of steps and delivered a hard right forearm shove with his weight behind him to Morris’ back, sending the Heat forward flying hard toward the floor.
Morris was assessed a flagrant foul 2, and Jokic was ejected.
“That was a very dangerous and dirty play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “Keef took a foul and it was one of those fast-break-take fouls and he did with his shoulder. You might deem that maybe as a little bit more than just slapping somebody, but after watching it on film it was a take foul. That’s how I saw it. And the play after that’s just absolutely uncalled for.”
Jokic left with a triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The reigning MVP said he felt the need to protect himself but that he felt bad after seeing how hard he shoved Morris in the back.
“It’s a stupid play,” Jokic told reporters after the game. “I feel bad. I am not supposed to react that way … I thought it was going to be a take foul … I think it was a dirty play. And I just needed to protect myself. I felt bad, I am not supposed to react that way but I need to protect myself.”
Jokic later added: “I don’t know who showed me the clip and actually his head snapped back [after the shove] so I feel really bad… it’s a bad move.”
The Nuggets, already without the injured Jamal Murray, were playing without Michael Porter Jr., due to a lower back injury. Denver could potentially be without their top three players for Wednesday’s game against Indiana.
“I will concern myself when they tell us he’s suspended,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said when asked about a possible suspension for Jokic. “I am not going to waste any of my time looking into my crystal ball and my tea leaves. I don’t have any of that. He’s available until they tell me he’s not. And I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be available Wednesday night.”
Spoelstra said Morris was OK after the hard foul and was moving around in the locker room.
“This whole thing could have been a whole lot uglier if Markieff was actually facing Jokic,” Spoelstra said. “The fact that he had his back turned and he made a play like that, blindsiding him, just a very dangerous play.”
The altercation resulted in both coaching staffs and officials trying to keep the peace. As Jokic sat on the bench while things were still being sorted out on the court, emotions were running high as Miami’s Jimmy Butler shouted toward the Nuggets and had to be held back.
“The video and picture is worth a thousand words,” Spoelstra added when asked about the mood of the Heat players after the incident.
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