Nikola Jokic bumped Scott Brooks Monday night.

Rough player-on-player contact happens pretty regularly across sports, and we even see players making contact with officials from time to time, but it’s rarer (if not completely unknown) to see a player collide with a coach. That’s what happened Monday night at the end of the Denver Nuggets – Washington Wizards game, though, with Denver center Nikola Jokic making contact with Washington head coach Scott Brooks following a timeout. Here’s video of that:

And a wider view of the incident and the near-fight it spawned (this camera misses the contact initially, but shows it on a replay about 38 seconds in);

This came with 32 seconds left and the Wizards up 104-102. Jokic was assessed a technical foul, Bradley Beal made the technical free throw, and the Wizards went on to win 109-102. But their players were pretty upset afterwards, with point guard John Wall and center Marcin Gortat offering particularly strong criticisms:

“That’s something you don’t do,” Wall said about Jokic’s contact with Brooks. “No matter what’s going on between players and teammates. That’s something you don’t do to a coach. That’s like me calling a coach a certain name. Hopefully he apologizes to (Brooks) but luckily we got the win.”

…“He’s not allowed to do that. Whatever it was, he didn’t see it or he (saw) it and he didn’t move away. He can’t do that. He can’t do that,” Gortat said of Jokic. “This is lack of respect for the game. Lack of respect for our coach, lack of respect for the older person … he’s just not allowed to do that, bottom line. This was (the) end of the game, and he just hurt his team pretty much doing that but it’s OK. It’s not our problem.”

Brooks wasn’t as harsh in his post-game comments, saying “I don’t think he did it on purpose but it happened,” and Denver coach Mike Malone even accused his counterpart of embellishing the contact:

“I just watched it 10 times. Nikola said he didn’t do it intentional,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Nikola is walking off the court. Scott Brooks is walking on the court. There’s contact made. It was embellished a little, to be honest, I think.”

And Jokic himself said he wasn’t trying to bump Brooks, saying “”I tried to look at the score and hit … the coach. I’m sorry because I put my team in a bad position.” However, officiating crew chief Derrick Stafford told a pool reporter afterwards that Jokic “intentionally walked into Scotty Brooks on his way to the bench.” So opinions definitely vary on just how deliberate this was. Regardless, it certainly provoked some strong responses from Wizards’ players.

[The Washington Post]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.