The defining moment for 32-year-old Markieff Morris this season is when he was pushed in the back by an angry Nikola Jokic.
At the time, the altercation led to some strong backlash against Jokic, and Morris' twin brother, Marcus, got involved in a now-infamous exchange with Jokic's brothers.
Weeks later, Morris has still not played a game since that shove and a recent report by the Miami Herald claims the team has some pretty significant medical concerns about him playing again.
The Heat’s specific medical concern with Morris isn’t clear, but the sources said it was significant enough to make the Heat uneasy about clearing him to play, at least to this point, and significant enough to leave the team concerned about liability issues.
According to sportsmedtoday.com, servical cord neurapraxia (CCN), “is a rare but dangerous cervical spine (neck) injury. TQ is usually caused by cervical spinal cord trauma, which can occur after a neck hyperextension or hyperflexion injury with possible axial loading (pressure applied to the top of the head). The incidence is approximately 0.2-2 per 100,000 athletes.”
An associate said Morris very much wants to be playing now. His representative did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
Morris was dealing with some back issues before the push, but the incident seems to have worsened his condition for the long term.
“Ain’t shit wild about it! It’s a real injury! Imagine having a 300-pound sloppy fat boy run full speed and make direct contact with your spine! I’ll be back soon like I said,” said the Heat forward on Twitter.
So, with the future of Morris still uncertain, the Heat will have to trudge along without him and hope the talent they have available will be enough to put them in a strong position for the playoffs.
Hopefully, Markieff is able to make a full recovery and his story becomes a warning for players who are tempted to lose their cool on the court.
Morris is averaging 7.7 points per game in 10 games for the Heat this season.