Nikola Jokic has recently been the focus of the media after an on-court incident during the recent Nuggets-Heat game that featured Markieff Morris. The controversy has been Nikola Jokic shoving Markieff Morris from the back after a hard foul.
There have been plenty of NBA fans and others who have weighed in on the situation, with some, such as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra declaring Jokic's actions as a dangerous and dirty play.
While the play itself was perhaps unacceptable, that doesn't necessarily mean that Nikola Jokic is a dirty player. Heat legend Udonis Haslem has offered some of his thoughts on the situation when speaking with the media, stating that he didn't believe that Jokic is a "bad guy" or a "dirty player". Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald relayed Haslem's words.
Obviously in a situation like that, alpha males and reactions take over. A couple of days later, we all want what’s best for everybody. I don’t think Jokic is a bad guy. I actually love him as a basketball player and I love him as a person. I think he’s a really good guy. I think emotions just got the best of everybody.
“Looking at it a day or two later, I wish it wouldn’t have gone down the way it went down. But I don’t think he’s a bad guy, nor do I think he’s a dirty player. I’m also a guy who has definitely let emotions get the best of me sometimes. But I never hit nobody in the back, and I think that’s where it got a little murky. But I don’t think he’s a bad guy, and I don’t think he meant to hurt anybody. We don’t hold grudges, so it’s time to move on.
There is no doubt that it would be best for everyone to put this situation behind them. Haslem's right in saying that "emotions just got the best of everybody" and hopefully, this sort of altercation can be avoided in the future when the two teams face one another.
Nikola Jokic will be suspended one game for the conflict, while Markieff Morris got fined $50,000. Both players have been given their punishment, and perhaps this will be the last we hear about this event.