Markieff Morris has not forgotten about what happened on the court in 2021 against Nikola Jokic. When Morris was a member of the Miami Heat, they were on the road to face Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in November 2021. It was what transpired in the middle of this game that drew headlines.
Looking to stop play and take a foul, Morris ran into Jokic and made contact with the two-time MVP's ribs. As Morris walked away after the foul, the Nuggets big man charged at him and knocked him to the ground from behind. Forced to miss a lot of time with a neck and whiplash injury, Morris still seems to hold a grudge for what happened.
“What you fining me for? I’m the one who got hit!”
The Morris twins reflect on Markieff and Nikola Jokic’s incident 🗣️
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 14, 2023
“Catching me off guard, he really ain't do s**t. But you know, at the time, I was a little off,” Morris told former NBA player Matt Barnes on Showtime's All The Smoke podcast. “It was more so with the Miami Heat, they was just trying to protect me from, you know, against me from myself. But I was cleared to play like two weeks after that, they just held me out. It really wasn't one of those things where I was injured or in pain or anything like that…
“It was a sucker shot. But he gonna get his though. Don't trip.”
Since this incident occurred, Markieff has not played against Jokic. However, his twin brother Marcus Morris has, and he stated on the podcast that he made it a point of emphasis to go after the MVP. As Marcus states, the league was watching him closely since they had a feeling he would retaliate and defend his brother, so nothing ever transpired between him and Jokic.
It's interesting that Markieff mentions that he was ready to play again after two weeks and the Heat kept him out, especially in light of the league's new “load management” rules pertaining to player participation.
On Wednesday, the NBA's Board of Governors approved new rules that will put an end to teams keeping healthy players and stars out of games. While this would not have necessarily impacted Morris since he isn't an All-Star or All-NBA talent, the league may have had something to say about Miami keeping him out of games.
As far as his involvement in what transpired with Jokic, Morris explained what exactly he was doing by fouling Denver's big man and what the reaction from everyone was after the altercation happened.
“I put my hand up so he knew I was coming,” Morris continued. “It's what he did. He tried to jump pass the ball as I'm coming to foul you, like, I don't know what he was thinking. He made it seem like I was trying to hurt him when it wasn't… I fouled you and let you know I was going to foul you. Then you hit me from behind, but it's like ‘you shouldn't have turned your back.' Okay.”
Recently agreeing to a one-year, minimum contract to return to the Dallas Mavericks, Morris will potentially get a chance to see Jokic again early on in the 2023-24 season and hash things out on the same court in which he got injured on a couple of years back. The Mavs will be in Denver on November 3 to face the Nuggets.