Phoenix owner Max Ishbia doesn’t believe Denver‘s star Nikola Jokic should be further punished for the incident which occurred during this Sunday’s Game 4, as the player has already recieved a techinical foul for being involved in this sideline scuffle.
Hours after the Suns won the match 129-124 and tied this Western Conference series 2-2, the billionaire made his thoughts known as he posted on his social media account.
Suns governor Mat Ishbia says Jokić should NOT be fined or suspended following their incident during Game 4 pic.twitter.com/lPS9ceoPFa
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2023
“Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far!” Ishbia wrote. “That should be and is the only story. Suspending or fining anyone over last nights incident would not be right. I have alot of respect for Jokic and don’t want to see anything like that. Excited for game 5! Go Suns!”
Twitter immediately reacted to his post, as most sided with his views on the matter, and others of course completely disagreed.
“If you don’t think a guy that played division 1 ball wasn’t intentionally trying to hold the ball there while his player was out of the play to keep Denver from getting an advantage on the break, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s why Jokic was pissed,” one account wrote.
Another said the opposite: “People defending Jokic are comical. Ishbia absolutely held the ball on purpose. But that doesn’t justify Jokic losing his temper and shoving him. Don’t assault the people watching the game. This really isn’t hard.”
However, the majority of them actually showed some respect for the Phoenix owner, as most would think he would take advantage of this situation to find a way to punish the Serbian star in his team’s favor.
“We’re acting like Mat Ishbia – a 5 foot 10 inch 43 year-old business man in seemingly ok shape – needs to sell contact when shoved by a 7 foot 300 pound professional athlete?” a Twitter account expressed.
Others believed that the billionaire should’ve been ejected from the contest by the officials.
“If Mat Ishbia was any other fan, he would’ve been ejected from the game,” the tweet read. “I don’t think he’ll get more than a slap on the wrist, but he should be suspended. An owner disrupting the flow of a game by denying a player the ball is an embarrassment for the league.”
Jokic admitted he had seen Ishbia before, but thought he was just a loyal Suns fan
Once the game was over, the press surrounded the Nuggets big man to ask him about the incident, as he simply responded that he wanted to get the ball as quickly as possible to begin the next play, but Ishbia wasn’t letting him retrieve it.
“[Brothers] told me I was elbowing the fan,” Jokic said. “But the fan put the hand on me first. So I thought the league’s supposed to protect us or whatever, but maybe I’m wrong, so we will see.”
The Joker is still awaiting to see if the NBA will further his punishment over the incident. “But his hands [were] on me,” the center explained. “So [the NBA] is not going to protect me? They’re going to protect the fan? Not me as a person; I’m talking about as a player.”
“Whoever it is, he’s a fan. He cannot influence the game by holding the ball,” the big man said. “I think he’s supposed to get kicked out if he’s influencing the game.”
Source: Basketball Insider