The Wizards were clinging to a two-point lead with 32 seconds left when Nikola Jokic, arguably the NBA’s best-passing center, had an assist.
To Washington. During a timeout.
While walking to his bench during a stoppage, Jokic bumped Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Brooks immediately stormed to a referee, who called a technical foul on Jokic. Washington made the free throw and pulled away for a 109-104 win.
The incident, via NBC Sports Washington:
“I’m sorry because I put my team in a bad position,” Jokic said.
Jokic’s excuse was that he was trying to look at the score.
Brooks, via Hughes:
“It was an awkward, weird situation. I don’t think he did it on purpose but it happened,” Brooks said. “I moved on and the referee had to do what he had to do and move on. But I never had that happened before.”
These minor bumps as a dozen people cross paths aren’t totally uncommon.
Was this one more forceful than usual? Hard to tell.
The only thing clearly extra was Brooks’ swift reaction. Justified or not, he turned this into something bigger – and an advantage for his team.