Nuggets' Nikola Jokic appears to elbow Suns owner in Game 4
Nuggets' Nikola Jokic appears to elbow Suns owner in Game 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Game 4 between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns had quite the heated moment.
With 2:36 to go late in the second quarter, Nuggets star Nikola Jokic went to the sideline to collect the ball to start an inbounds pass, but simultaneously appeared to elbow a fan in possession of the ball.
The fan in question? Suns owner Mat Ishbia.
Jokic attempted to grab the ball from Ishbia but ended up sending it a few rows back to another fan. Then, his left elbow caught Ishbia's chin/upper-chest area, which saw him fall to the floor. Jokic received a technical foul for the incident.
After the game, Jokic discussed why he received a technical following the situation.
"He told me I was elbowing the fan, but the fan put his hands on me first," Jokic explained. "I thought the league is supposed to protect us or whatever. But maybe I'm wrong."
Jokic added he did not know the fan was the Suns owner, but believed the same rules should apply from owner to fan.
"He is a fan, isn't he?" Jokic said. "Sitting on the court, he's a fan, isn't he? That doesn't mean whoever it is, he's a fan, he cannot influence the game by holding on the ball."
Jokic believed Ishbia should've been kicked out fi he's "influencing" the game.
Ishbia completed his purchase of the Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury from former owner Robert Sarver in February of 2023, which came at a valuation of $4 billion.
Jokic had 24 points, three assists and one rebound in 19 first-half minutes as Denver trailed 63-61.