Perhaps the weirdest moment of the NBA playoffs so far came in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinal series between the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns. Nikola Jokic wanted to inbound the ball quickly after it went out of bounds and ended up right in the arms of the Suns’ new owner, Mat Ishbia. That didn’t happen because Ishbia refused to hand the ball over, and after Ishbia touched Jokic, the two-time league MVP shoved him, which led to Ishbia flopping into his chair.
Jokic was assessed a technical foul and there were concerns over whether he’d get suspended for the incident, but ultimately, he only received a fine — Ishbia, it must be noted, tweeted that he didn’t want to see Jokic receive any sort of punishment. Tuesday night marked the first game since all of this, and before things tipped off, the two linked up when Jokic ran over to Ishbia, threw a ball to him, and dapped him up.
Their interaction in Game 4 was legitimately very tense — Jokic expressed his belief that Ishbia should have gotten tossed from the game, while Nuggets coach Michael Malone was pretty explicit when he found out who the fan was. As such, it’s nice to see that the pair shared a pretty lighthearted moment before things tip off on Tuesday.