“It’s called retaliation” — Barkley and Shaq take Jokic’s side
JOKIC VS. MORRIS

“It’s called retaliation” — Barkley and Shaq take Jokic’s side

In the aftermath of the Nikola Jokic-Markieff Morris altercation, the NBA on TNT crew analyzed what went wrong and who should receive heavier penalties. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley approve Jokic’s shove from behind, claiming Morris started the fiasco.

Shaq and Barkley approve of The Joker’s move

Nikola Jokic was bumped hard by Markieff Morris to stop a fastbreak late in the 4th quarter against the Heat. Morris turned his back around and assumed it was nothing, but Jokic did not appreciate the dangerous foul. He shoved the Heat player from behind, causing Morris to tumble to the ground. It could have been worse, but fortunately, no serious harm was done to both players.

The NBA handed Nikola a one-game suspension, Morris will be $50,000 poorer, and Butler also received a $30,000 fine for “attempting to escalate the situation.” It was a common Morris foul, borderline dirty, and the reaction of Jokic, although dangerous, was a natural move for someone on the receiving end of it. Fans debated online who should be penalized more but according to Shaq and Barkley, what Jokic did was justified.

It’s called retaliation. First of all, when you hit me, don’t turn around. I have no problem with what The Joker did, I actually like it as a big guy. You got these guys foulin’ ’em, hanging on. He hit him, intentional, unnecessary roughness, so what do you do as a big guy? You go hit him back. When you hit me, don’t turn your head, because it’s coming. You’re either gonna get it in the front, or you’re gonna get it in the back.

Shaquille O’Neal, NBA on TNT

In a rare exchange where Barkley agreed to Shaq’s point of view, he claimed he would retaliate if it was him on Nikola’s situation. “Well, if you hit me, I’m with Shaq on this,” Barkley said. “Let me tell you something Ernie — if you hit me, you better not turn your damn back, because I’m coming back at you. You can’t hit somebody and turn your back.”

Basic rule in fighting: Don’t turn your back!

When fighting, it’s an unwritten rule never to turn your back against your opponents. Assuming they would not hit back is one thing; turning your back against them is another.

Had Morris faced Jokic, he could have dodged the shove. Markieff tried to pretend that the hard foul was nothing but a regular foul, so he turned his back and walked away. In this case, Jokic retaliated because, at some point, players who were on the receiving end of these hard Morris twins fouls needed to stand up for themselves and send a message. Fans hope things will not escalate off the court as their brothers have begun trading barbs on Twitter

There are lessons to be learned here for The Joker and Markieff Morris. When you give hard fouls, you must also be willing to take hard fouls in return and never turn your back against the man you just hit.