Basketball: Nuggets' Nikola Jokic fined US$25,000 for joke in TV interview which backfired

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was fined US$25,000 (S$34,250) by the NBA on Wednesday (Nov 8) for using derogatory and offensive language, the league said.

A statement from NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said the 23-year-old Serbian had been sanctioned for comments made after Denver’s 108-107 defeat of the Chicago Bulls on October 31.

Footage of Jokic’s post-game remarks showed the Nuggets ace saying: “He’s lon-huh, no homo, he’s longer than you expect” to describe Bulls rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr.

Carter had recorded 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks in the contest. The Nuggets defeated the Bulls 108-107 in overtime.

Jokic has been a key part of Denver’s strong start to the season, which has seen the Colorado club move to 9-1, just one off top spot behind the Golden State Warriors.

He joined the Nuggets after being selected as the 41st overall pick in the 2014 draft.

This season he is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

The fine appeared to affect him in Wednesday’s game against Memphis, which Denver lost 89-87. Jokic’s only shot of the night came with 2.4 seconds left – a three-pointer which missed.

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