Nikola Jokic Reaches Out to Mat Ishbia with Pre-Game Handshake and Ball Toss After Sunday's Incident

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia had a courtside encounter of a different kind before Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Jokic, who was fined $25,000 for pushing Ishbia in Sunday's game, offered a friendly handshake and embrace as he handed him a basketball following pregame warm-ups. "I mean it's old news now," joked Denver coach Michael Malone when asked about the incident.

The controversy began when Jokic was trying to retrieve the ball from Ishbia on Sunday, who was holding it when the Nugget tried to inbound it quickly. Jokic explained that Ishbia put his hands on him first, leading to the gentle nudge back. Despite the hefty fine, the two had a moment of levity prior to the game, putting any hard feelings aside. Though Jokic was eager to keep the ball in play, he surely had a different endgame in mind when handing the ball off to Ishbia.