WATCH: Denver star Nikola Jokic gets into courtside altercation with Suns owner Mat Ishbia in dispute for the ball

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Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was handed a technical foul in the last minutes of the second quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 of the series against the Suns, after “deliberately” making contact with Phoenix owner Max Ishbia in a strange series of events that happened courtside.

With 2:36 remaining until half time, Ishbia hugged the ball after his foward Josh Okogie was sent flying towards the courtside seats next to the team’s bench. The Serbian athlete went over to take the ball, but the Phoenix owner hold on to it tightly and was eventually pushed back into his seat.

Take a look at the incident in the following video as the team from Arizona went on to win the contest 129 to 124:

As seen in the footage above, Jokic’s left forearm made contact with Ishbia’s chest as he stood there asking for the ball. The Nuggets big man went running for it as he usually does, because he knew there was potential for a “5-on-4” advantage for his team.

Ishbia, who’s a former Michigan State player, had an incredulous look on his face as he fell backwards into his chair. The official crew chief Tony Brothers considered Jokic’s move as a “deliberate” shove and assesed the technical foul to the player.

“One of the fans was holding the ball, Jokic came to get the ball, grabbed it away from the fan,” Brothers told the press, as the NBA is yet to define if the player will recieve a suspension or a fine. “Then after that, he deliberately gave him a shove and pushed him down, so he was issued an unsportsmanlike technical foul.”

“There was some engagement, so I deemed the technical foul the appropriate penalty,” the official added.

Brothers then explained that he decided not to eject Jokic because he considers the Serbian “didn’t just run over and hit a fan.”

Nuggets coach Malone is in disbelief with referee Brothers’ decision to call a foul

After the game, the Denver player said he was simply trying to get the ball as fast as he could to begin the next play, but Ishbia wasn’t letting him retrieve it.

“[Brothers] told me I was elbowing the fan,” Jokic said. “But the fan put the hand on me first. So I thought the league’s supposed to protect us or whatever, but maybe I’m wrong, so we will see.”

The Serbian is still unsure why there exists a possibility of him recieving more punishment over the incident. “But his hands [were] on me,” the center explained. “So [the NBA] is not going to protect me? They’re going to protect the fan? Not me as a person; I’m talking about as a player.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone defended his two-time MVP athlete. “I think it’s crazy that Nikola got a technical foul in that situation,” he said. “He is going to get the ball, and some fan is holding on to the ball like he wants to be a part of the game. Just give the ball up, man.”

He was then asked if he believed the fact that the fan being the Phoenix owner made a difference in the official’s call, he simply replied, “I don’t give a s—. I really don’t care.”