A former NBA player knows what’s in store for the league if Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic isn’t suspended following his fight with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia on Sunday night.

Jokic created some controversy after Suns guard Josh Okogie flew into the stands while trying to keep the ball in bounds. When he didn’t, Ishbia was holding the ball and Jokic went to grab it from her.

In the process, Jokic pushed Ishbia and he fell to the ground. Jokic received a technical foul from the officials for the bizarre exchange, and now the suspension for Game 5 of the series (the Suns won Game 4 to tie things at two games apiece) is up for debate.


Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is involved in an altercation during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal against the Suns, Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Former NBA forward Chandler Parsons, speaking on FanDuel TV’s «Run It Back» podcast, said he believes there will be a lively racial debate if Jokic is not suspended.

«Prepare for the race card if he doesn’t get suspended because I don’t think he gets suspended and there will be a lot of things (like), ‘If this was Draymond.'» [Green], would be suspended. If this was Dillon Brooks… Anyone with the worst reputation or past would be suspended.

«You hate to see it.»

ESPN reported that Jokic is unlikely to be suspended. The league is also expected to make a statement on the matter Monday with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday in Denver at 10 p.m. ET.

Chandler Parsons smiles

Chandler Parsons attends Shaq’s Fun House Big Game Weekend on February 10, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

We’ve seen suspensions so far in these NBA playoffs, which included Green after he stomped on the chest of Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis during their first-round series with the Golden State Warriors.

However, this situation is one that even Ishbia doesn’t think Jokic should be suspended for.

Ishbia is actually siding with Jokic on this, as she tweeted after the game.

«Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far! That should be it and it is the only story,» he tweeted. «Suspending or fining someone for last night’s incident would not be right. I have a lot of respect for Jokic and I don’t want to see anything like that. Excited for Game 5! Go Suns!»

Jokic also commented on the matter after dropping 53 points with 11 assists and four rebounds in a 129-124 loss.

Nikola Jokic dribbles

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic lifts the ball against the Phoenix Suns, Monday, May 1, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


«The fan put their hand on me first. I thought the league was supposed to protect us… Maybe I’m wrong,» Jokic said after the game.

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