MIAMI — The fallout from the scuffle between reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Markieff Morris from the Miami Heat continued Tuesday when the brothers of the two players who starred in the dustup decided to take their anger to Twitter.
Eventually, even one of their mothers apparently got involved in an effort to calm things down. The NBA undoubtedly will have more to say as well, with fines, suspensions or both likely to be announced before long. And Morris will miss at least one game because of the injury he sustained.
“It’s a situation that I think we’ll all learn from, not allowing emotions to get the best of us,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Tuesday.
Emotions were clearly not under control Monday night.
It all started late in the Denver-Miami game, shortly after the Heat ire was raised when no call was made after they thought Jokic fouled Bam Adebayo. Morris stopped play a few seconds later by intentionally crashing into Jokic from the side, a foul that referees called flagrant.
Jokic then blindsided Morris with a hard shove from behind. Heat players were livid at what they perceived to be a cheap shot from Jokic, and so was Marcus Morris — Markieff Morris’ twin and fellow NBA player.
“A stupid play,” Jokic conceded. “I feel bad.”
It all adds up to an ugly mess for the NBA, which surely wasn’t thrilled by either foul or any of the shenanigans that followed, including a scene captured in a photo from the Denver Post that showed Heat players lined up outside their locker room postgame, not far from the Denver locker room. The newspaper reported that Heat forward Jimmy Butler “yelled down the hallway, telling Nuggets players they know where Miami’s bus was parked.”
And then it became a family affair.
“Waited till bro turned his back smh. NOTED,” Marcus Morris tweeted.
Jokic has two older brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja Jokic. They got attention during last season’s playoffs when matters between Jokic and Phoenix’s Devin Booker got heated; Jokic wound up getting ejected and his brothers had to be held back in the stands.
They joined Twitter on Tuesday, and their first tweet was directed at Marcus Morris.
“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,” they tweeted.
The tweet went viral right away, and a few hours later Marcus Morris returned to Twitter — apparently after getting a talking-to from his mother, Angel Morris.
“Momma said don’t talk on social media no more! Well There you have it. I love you momma,” Marcus Morris wrote.
That vow of Twitter silence lasted all of 47 minutes.
Marcus Morris, responding to a tweet from former NFL standout and current television commentator Shannon Sharpe defending Jokic, quickly returned to social media and told Sharpe to “shut … up.”
The Heat were off on Tuesday and made no players available to talk after Monday night’s game. They play Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Lakers — Markieff Morris will not play, the Heat said Tuesday night, because of whiplash. Denver also plays Wednesday, at home against Indiana.
Predictably, each side saw dirtiness in the play through its own prism.
“That was a very dangerous, dirty play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Jokic’s hit.
“Dirty foul,” was Malone’s assessment of Markieff Morris’ play.
Typically, when fines or suspensions are pending, the NBA announces such sanctions before the next game of the parties involved, which means actions are likely before Wednesday’s games.
Denver visits Miami on Nov. 29. The Nuggets don’t face the Clippers, Marcus Morris’ team, again until Dec. 26.
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