Phoenix Suns owner Matt Ishbia said it "would be not be right" for the NBA to suspend Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic over an incident between the two during Game 4 of the Western Conference Playoffs semifinals series in Phoenix Sunday (May 7) night.
Jokic, the back-to-back NBA MVP for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, was called for a technical foul after he attempted to snatch the ball from Ishbia, who was sitting courtside at the time and hit the billionaire with an elbow during the second quarter of the Suns' 129-124 win.
"Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far! That should be and is the only story," Ishbia tweeted on Monday (May 7). "Suspending or fining anyone over last nights incident would not be right. I have alot of respect for Jokic and don't want to see anything like that. Excited for game 5! Go Suns!"
The NBA hasn't yet announced a decision on whether to suspend and/or fine Jokic as of Monday morning. The Suns tied the series at 2-2 with Sunday's win at home.
The incident took place after Suns guard Josh Okogie crashed into fans while attempting to save a loose ball, landing in a group of fans sitting on the baseline, which included Ishbia, who caught and held the basketball. Jokic attempted to quickly grab the ball to start the Nuggets' possession, but it instead flew backward into the crowd before his elbow knocked Ishbia backward.
"The fan put the hand on me first," Jokic said via ESPN. "I thought the league was supposed to protect us. Maybe I am wrong. I know who he is, but he is a fan. Isn't he?"
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone defended his center's actions as "going to get the ball and some fan is holding on to the ball like he wants to be part of the game."
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