Charles Barkley And Shaq ‘Liked’ Nikola Jokic Leveling Markieff Morris Because ‘You Can’t Hit Somebody And Turn Your Back’

An end-of-game fracas on Monday night caught the attention of basketball fans, as Markieff Morris hip checked Nikola Jokic and the reigning NBA MVP responded by running up behind the Miami Heat forward and knocking him to the ground. Heat players were furious, Jokic was tossed, and Jokic’s brothers made a Twitter account so they could get into it with Morris’ twin brother, Marcus.

The Inside the NBA crew had some pretty strong thoughts on the whole thing, but you might be surprised to learn they were in Jokic’s corner here. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley both agree that there should be a one-game suspension handed out because that’s what the rule is, but both Hall of Fame inductees said they liked Jokic taking matters into his own hands like this.

“He gave him a shot in the back and whiplashed him,” Ernie Johnson said when Barkley asked what Jokic did to deserve some sort of slap on the wrist.

“Hold on, Ernie,” Shaq replied. “It’s called retaliation. First of all, when you hit me, don’t turn around.”

Shaq then referenced his famous fight with Brad Miller of the Chicago Bulls before explaining what a big man does in this situation.

“As a big guy, when a little guy hits you, you gotta touch him on back,” Shaq said. “I have no problem with what The Joker did, I actually like it as a big guy. You got these guys foulin’ ’em, hanging on. He hit him, intentional, unnecessary roughness, so what do you do as a big guy? You go hit him back. When you hit me, don’t turn your head, because it’s coming. You’re either gonna get it in the front, or you’re gonna get it in the back.”

Johnson then asked if it was “a dangerous and dirty play,” with everyone on set disagreeing. Barkley then explained why he shares Shaq’s sentiment.

“Morris started it, let’s get [that] first,” Barkley said. “Joker retaliated, and then people say, ‘Well, he hit him in the back.’ Well, if you hit me, I’m with Shaq on this. Let me tell you something Ernie — if you hit me, you better not turn your damn back, because I’m coming back at you. You can’t hit somebody and turn your back.”

There is no word on whether Jokic and/or Morris will face any sort of punishment from the league.