Nikola Jokic gives the ball to Matt Ichpia in a pre-match moment

Nikola Jokic gives the ball to Matt Ichpia in a pre-match moment

Ohm YoungmisukESPN staff writerMay 9, 2023, 09:27 PM ET2 minutes to read

Nikola Jokic and Suns owner Matt Ishbala make up after warming up

Nikola Jokic softens his Game 4 scrimmage with Matt Ishiba by throwing the ball to him before Game 5.

Denver – Nikola Jokic and Matt Eshpia met again on the court before Game 5 Tuesday night — but this time it was the Denver Nuggets star handing the basketball to the Phoenix Suns owner with a friendly handshake and a warm embrace.

When Jokic walked off the floor after warming up before the match, he made his way to where Ishbia was sitting on the field. Jokic held a basketball before playfully tossing it to Ishbia. The two shook hands and Jokic embraced Ishpia and patted his back.

On Monday, Jokic was fined $25,000 for slightly shoving a Suns owner in Game 4 on Sunday while trying to retrieve the ball in the crowd. Crew chief Tony Brothers said Jokic was assessed a technical foul during the match for “intentionally” pushing Ishbiella.

Jokic explained after the Suns’ Game 4 win that Ishbia holds the basketball when Jokic was trying to do what he often does: grab the ball and try to get in quickly in hopes of getting the Nuggets’ advantage. Jokic also said that Ichpia put his hands on him first, which led to Jokic being pushed back.

For his part, Ishpia tweeted on Monday that he did not want to see Jokic disciplined for his role in the incident, writing: “Suspending or fining anyone during last nights incident would not be right. I have a lot of respect for Jokic and I don’t want to see anything like that.” .

“I mean, it’s old news now,” Denver coach Michael Malone said before Game 5 when asked about Jokic’s $25,000 fine.

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