The NBA has been accused of having a flopping issue, but this might be the first time that someone sitting courtside could have been called by a ref for flopping.
What makes it even more interesting is the person who seems to have perfected the flop is Mat Ishbia, owner of the Phoenix Suns.
NBA playoffs are in full swing, with only eight teams left to fight for the coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Two of those teams are the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns, and last night’s game in Phoenix has led to quite the interesting predicament.
Denver Nuggets star (who looks like a relatively normal person besides the fact that he is 7 foot tall) Nikola Jokić was going after a ball that had been hit out of bounds when a fan wouldn’t throw the ball back to him.
Jokić was also getting surrounded by those in the section, and when someone touched his arm, the basketball player pushed back.
Now, he didn’t push back hard, but the owner of the Suns who was standing nearby decided to go for the Oscar-winning performance and fell back like he had just been hit by a cannon ball.
If the seat wouldn’t have been there to catch him, there’s a good chance he would still be falling backwards at this very moment.
Watch the footage and see what you think:
Should Jokić have pushed the fan? No, probably not.
Did Jokić even know that the person in the green jacket was Mat Ishbia, owner of the Phoenix Suns? Again, I doubt it.
Should Ishbia have been that close to the Nuggets star when he was trying to retrieve the ball? Or could the owner have been trying to intentionally provoke Nikola so that the Denver center might retaliate and be suspended?
I’ll let you answer those questions yourself.
When Jokić was asked about it during his allotted media time after the game, he had this to say regarding the incident:
“The fan put a hand on me first. I thought the league was supposed to protect us…maybe I’m wrong.”
It has still yet to be announced whether Jokić will be suspended for any of the remaining games in the seven game series. With each team having won two games apiece so far and the series tied up, a suspension of Denver’s best player could be costly for the Nugget’s title chances.
All in all, the shove was nothing close to the “Malice at the Palace” and you wouldn’t be able to tell based on the reaction from fans and media. It looked to me like the Suns owner really “sold” the fall after Nikola extended his arm.
There’s been a lot of drama surrounding the incident, but it might all be worth it thanks to this strange video game mod of the Denver Nuggets star going into the stands to fight the Suns owner.
Give the internet some credit, it moves pretty fast when it comes to memes: