With the Nuggets down five toward the end of last night’s game against the Wizards, Jamal Murray canned a three to make it a one-score game. As the Nuggets walked back to their bench following a Wizards timeout, Nikola Jokic grazed Scott Brooks with his elbow. Brooks immediately whirled around as if he’d been shot, located the ref, and proceeded to yawp about the contact until Jokic got hit with a technical foul.
Bradley Beal hit the technical free throw and the Wizards sealed up the game for good a few plays later. In the aftermath of the tussle, referees ruled that the contact was intentional, a sentiment echoed by several Wizards players. Marcin Gortat called it disrespectful and John Wall said, “that’s something you don’t do.” But Brooks himself later admitted that he wasn’t sure of Jokic’s intentions, and Denver coach Mike Malone said he thought Brooks “embellished” the contact (transcription via Ball Don’t Lie):
“I just watched it 10 times, and Nikola said he didn’t do it intentionally. Nikola is walking off the court, Scott Brooks is walking on the court, there’s contact made. It was embellished a little bit, to be honest, I think, but the referees looked at it and they called a tech, so I guess it’s a learning lesson. We have to make sure as we’re walking off the court during timeouts that we avoid coaches at all costs, so we don’t get into that situation again.”
Jokic said he hit Brooks as he “tried to look at the score,” which seems like bullshit given that he put his head down right as Brooks crossed his path. Regardless of Jokic’s intent, Brooks’s histrionics helped secure the technical foul. Maybe he is an effective coach after all!