‘Better Not Turn Your Back’: Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley Endorse Nikola Jokic’s Decision to Retaliate at Markieff Morris

Published 11/09/2021, 10:54 PM EST
Nov 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts on the bench after a play in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


After Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris’ altercation broke the internet, NBA legends took notice of the return of some physicality in the league. And while the brawl continued off the court with some back and forth on social media, Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley appeared on live television and spoke a few brutally honest words about the situation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

These two superstars host NBA on TNT with Ernie Johnson and Rockets legend Kenny Smith, where they discuss the hot topics around the league. On the most recent episode, Barkley and O’Neal gave their two cents on the Nikola/Kieff situation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

NBA legends react to Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris’ altercation

Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly one of the most dominant and physically brutal centers to have ever played the game. And his take on the situation was exactly in line with his dominant persona.

The 49-YO actively defended Jokic’s actions calling it a “retaliation”. Shaq addressed, “First of all when you hit me, don’t turn around. Don’t turn around Brad Miller ’cause I’m swinging. Do not turn around, you either take it in the front or take it from the back”

He further added, “I have no problem with what the Joker did, I actually like it as a big guy.”

Nov 8, 2021; Markieff Morris lies on the ground after a play with Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) as guard Tyler Herro (14) and center Bam Adebayo (13) and forward Aaron Gordon (50) react as head coach Michael Malone runs to interject in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Later, Charles Barkley added to Shaquille’s point and detailed, “I’m watching all these fools on television all day talk about this. First of all, Morris started it let’s get (facts cleared) first and Joker retaliated. And then people said he hit him in the back. Well, if you hit me, I’m with Shaq on this. Let me tell you something Ernie, if you hit me, you better not turn your back ’cause im coming back at you. You cant hit somebody and turn your back. It’s like if you hit Kenny… if somebody hit him, we swinging!”

Watch This Story: Heres How LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Shaquille ONeal & Other NBA Stars Spent Their First Paychecks

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What does this mean for the 2021 NBA MVP?

While Ernie was correct to mention that both these players might get suspended for this fight, it is pertinent to mention that Jokic was indeed only involved through momentary instigation. The league saw something like this when Patrick Beverley shoved Chris Paul last season and missed a game at the beginning of this season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Even though it is arguable for both sides on who is right and wrong, the NBA would certainly look carefully at the misconduct and likely deem them both as unnecessary.

DIVE DEEPER

Nikola Jokic’s Brothers Make Twitter Account to Openly Threaten Marcus Morris

26 days ago

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Chaitanya Dadhwal

369 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT