At first, it didn't seem like much. Nikola Jokić shoved Markieff Morris from the back as a reaction to an unnecessarily dirty foul at the end of a game. Tensions flared up, Morris walked off the floor, and Jokić was suspended for one game. 30 games later, Morris still hasn't played a minute of NBA basketball.
”I'll be back soon”
After the conflict, most people sided with the reigning MVP. The game was decided when Morris fouled Jokić mid-court. To someone who doesn't play often, it seemed like a regular foul. But the way Morris hit Jokić was dangerous both for his ribs, and his knee.
So when Jokić retaliated, the overall reaction online and from guys like Shaq and Chuck was "Morris had it coming." In addition to that, people noticed throwing a dirty punch and then turning your back on someone is a very weak move. Given the fact there was not a lot of sympathy for Miami's forward, and that Morris walked off the court, we all expected him to be back soon and didn't give his injury status a lot of thought.
He did walk off gingerly and Miami talked about his neck injury, but it was assumed they were embellishing so Jokić would get a more serious fine/suspension. But, Miami's played 30 games since then and all without the services of Markieff Morris. When Legion of Hoops pointed that out on Twitter, Markieff decided to chime in.
This isn't the first time Markieff took to Twitter to talk about his injury status. When it was "only" 23 games, he tweeted he was ”coming back soon!” This wasn't just a 300-pound guy shoving him from the back full strength, Morris has a history of neck and back problems. While with the Wizards, Morris was out for 6 weeks with transient cervical neuropraxia. It's never good when you have something that's described as”a rare condition which is almost exclusively reported in American football players following cervical hyperextension or hyperflexion trauma.”
”Sloppy fat boy”
There was a lot of smoke after the game. First, the Heat guys tried to get to the Nuggets locker room, after sending threats on the court. Then the situation moved online and everyone started following the Jokić brothers on Twitter. These guys.
When we found out they bought tickets for the rematch in Miami, everyone circled the date in their calendar. Udonis Haslem sent out a warning, but it was quite diplomatic when you read the whole thing. In the end, there were no incidents on the court, and the MVP reminded US fans their "best" performance is a mediocre one compared to those in Serbia.
The situation seemed over, and now Morriss is calling Jokić "a 300 pound sloppy fat boy." If it was someone else, this would probably stir stuff up again. But with the Jokić brothers Twitter account deleted (probably after intervention from someone in the Nuggets organization), there will be no response.
Nikola is one of the most laid-back players out there, and he spends most of his free time chilling at home with family and reading books about horses. In the end, it's just posturing from Morris after almost everyone sided with the MVP. The only way the Nuggets and Heat meet again is in the Finals.
Not likely, but would be very, very interesting.