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10 Nov, 2021 10:24

‘Suspended for self-defense’: Serbian NBA star Jokic cops ban for retaliation hit… instigator Morris escapes with fine (VIDEO)

‘Suspended for self-defense’: Serbian NBA star Jokic cops ban for retaliation hit… instigator Morris escapes with fine (VIDEO)

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has been suspended for one game without pay for taking justice into his own hands against Markieff Morris of the Miami Heat after the pair clashed on Monday night.

Jokic drove his shoulder into the back of Morris in the latter stages of the Nuggets’ 113-96 win over Miami after the American had fouled him moments earlier.

The incident sparked a melee between rival sets of players before Jokic and Morris were both ejected.

The NBA announced on Tuesday that reigning MVP Jokic would serve a one-game suspension for “forcefully shoving” Morris.

The Miami forward was slapped with a $50,000 fine for a Flagrant 2 foul.

His teammate Jimmy Butler will be $30,000 out of pocket for “attempting to escalate the altercation and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process pertaining to an on-court matter.”

Jokic will miss Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers in Denver.

The injured Morris has been ruled out of the Heat’s trip to he LA Lakers after suffering “whiplash” from the brutal hit.

Jokic had expressed his regret in the aftermath of the incident, calling it “a stupid play.”

Also on rt.com ‘Got what he deserved’: Serbian NBA tough guy Jokic ignites row after taking out rival with retaliatory hit (VIDEO)

However, after the news appeared of the sanctions meted out by the NBA, fans were divided.

Some claimed Jokic had copped a harsh punishment for simply “defending himself.”

"The league has gone soft," said one observer. 

"For some stupid a** reason, it's always the person who retaliates who get punished worse than the guy who actually started it," read one comment. 

Others asserted that the Serb had gotten off lightly considering the nature of the brutal shove from behind.

"Good! He probably should’ve been suspended more than one game, but that’s fine. You can’t cheap shot someone from behind like that, even if they do 'deserve it' like people say," wrote one NBA fan. 

"Should be banned for 10 games," said another. 

Elsewhere, it was argued that Morris was lucky to escape suspension too, but that the sanction was just about fair considering the roles of the protagonists.