Suns’ Mat Ishbia calls for no suspension of Nuggets C Nikola Jokic

May 8, 2023, 8:18 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia on Monday morning went to Twitter with an attempt to put his kerfuffle with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the rearview mirror.

Jokic earned an unsportsmanlike technical for shoving Ishbia after the owner caught a dead ball and held onto it as the Denver playmaker attempted to get a five-on-four break going the other way. Jokic’s interaction with Ishbia and others led to another fan walking up and pushing Jokic to earn an ejection from the game.

Ishbia in a tweet on Monday said that the on-court product should be the story moving forward.

“Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far!” he wrote. “That should be and is the only story. Suspending or fining anyone over last (night’s) incident would not be right. I have (a lot) of respect for Jokic and don’t want to see anything like that. Excited for game 5! Go Suns!”

Jokic closed with 53 points and 11 assists, setting a record for any center by scoring or assisting on 78 of his team’s points in a playoff game.

It wasn’t enough in the 129-124 loss for Denver that brought the Western Conference semifinals series even, 2-2.

The Denver center after the game defended his actions, saying he shoved the owner after feeling as if he was touched first.

Jokic and Nuggets head coach Michael Malone were not entertaining the possibility of Jokic being fined or suspended. They were surprised he even earned an unsportsmanlike technical as a result of the play.

“(A referee) told me I was elbowing the fan, but the fan put his hands on me first. I thought the league is supposed to protect us. But maybe I’m wrong,” Jokic said.

Ishbia has only been the Suns’ owner for a few months, purchasing the team from the embattled Robert Sarver.

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 seat in the second half.

Game 5 of Suns-Nuggets in Denver tips at 7 p.m. Tuesday on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Phoenix Suns

Tyler Kolek #11 of the Marquette Golden Eagles reacts during the second half against the Villanova ...

Arizona Sports

Yahoo NBA mock draft: Suns ‘zeroing in’ on Tyler Kolek at No. 22

The Phoenix Suns are "zeroing in" on selecting Marquette PG Tyler Kolek with the 22nd pick in the NBA Draft, according to Yahoo Sports.

1 hour ago

Eric Gordon...

Kevin Zimmerman

Report: Eric Gordon expected to join Bahamian team for Olympic qualifying

Eric Gordon is expected to join the Bahamian national team for the Olympic qualifying tournament. Will he be on the Phoenix Suns by then?

3 hours ago

Steve Sarkisian celebrates...

Arizona Sports

Dia Bell, son of former Suns guard Raja Bell, commits to Texas football

Dia Bell, a top passing talent in the 2026 class and son of former Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell, committed to Texas on Monday.

5 hours ago

Marquette guard Tyler Kolek...

Arizona Sports

2024 NBA mock draft tracker: Who might the Phoenix Suns select with the 22nd pick?

The Phoenix Suns own the No. 22 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and with a salary-capped roster have few avenues to improve their team.

11 hours ago

Tyler Kolek #11 of the Marquette Golden Eagles reacts during the second half against the Villanova ...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Is point guard the way to go for Suns in 2024 NBA Draft?

The majority of the Phoenix Suns fanbase wants to see the team target a point guard in the NBA Draft. Is that the right call?

12 hours ago

Kyle Zunic #22 of the Perth Wildcats shoots a layup against Tyler Smith #11 of G League Ignite in t...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Do Suns go project route in 2024 NBA Draft with Tyler Smith?

G League Ignite forward Tyler Smith has a combination of size and shooting rarely seen on the first-round bubble of the NBA Draft.

1 day ago

Suns’ Mat Ishbia calls for no suspension of Nuggets C Nikola Jokic