PHOENIX ― Denver Nuggets All-Star Nikola Jokic got into a little tussle with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia.
With more than two minutes remaining in the second quarter of Game 4 at the Footprint Center, Jokic was trying to get a loose ball out of bounds and got into it with some spectators courtside. As Jokic was trying to retrieve the ball he pushed a spectator who just so happened to be Ishbia, who was sitting courtside. Ishbia fell to his seat as players and security scrambled to cool the tempers.
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Jokic was assessed a technical foul and a nearby fan ― who was not the owner of the Suns ― was ejected from the arena.
The Phoenix crowd booed Jokic following the on-court skirmish.
“he fan put his hand on me first,” Jokic said. “I thought the league was supposed to protect us. Maybe I am wrong. I know who he is, but he is a fan. Isn’t he?”
Said Nuggets coach Michael Malone: ”(Jokic) is going to get the ball and some fan is holding on to the ball like he wants to be part of the game. Just give the ball up, man.”
Ishbia told The Associated Press at halftime that he was “fine” and more worried about the game than the altercation. He was back in his usual seats in the second half.
Ishbia purchased a majority stake in the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury earlier this year for $4 billion.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nikola Jokic, Mat Ishbia get into courtside tussle during Game 4