Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets blindsided the Miami Heat’s Markieff Morris with a hit from behind that jerked Morris’ head back during their NBA game on Monday. (Watch the video below.)
Morris sustained a neck injury, but was walking around in the locker room and planned to undergo the “necessary tests,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said in a tweet posted later by the Heat.
Jokic, who was ejected after the whiplash attack, admitted it was a “stupid play” and said he “felt bad” after watching Morris’s head “snap back” on the replay, ESPN reported.
One broadcaster called it “a nasty cheap shot by a great player.”
Late in the fourth quarter, Jokic appeared to foul another Heat player without a call. As he dribbled upcourt and passed the ball, Morris bumped him in the chest.
The Nuggets center retaliated as Morris’s back was to him, putting all of his 6-foot-11, 284-pound frame into a forearm thrust that knocked Morris to the floor. Morris was assessed a flagrant foul and Jokic was booted.
Morris remained on the floor in obvious pain while a stretcher was summoned, but he eventually walked to the Heat locker room, the Denver Post reported.
“That was a dangerous and dirty play,” Spoelstra said, per the newspaper.
The Nuggets won the game, 113-96, but could be losing their superstar if the NBA suspends Jokic.