As the Heat and Nuggets get set to meet in the 2023 NBA Finals, plenty of people have noted the two teams have not had a very friendly recent history.
A year ago, Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris got into it after Morris aggressively fouled Jokic at midcourt during a blowout win by Denver, with Jokic retaliating by drilling Morris in the back, leading to an extended absence for the veteran forward.
While Morris was being tended to, Jimmy Butler was barking at the Nuggets sideline, apparently ready to fight someone, which many assumed to be Jokic for taking a cheap shot to Morris from behind.
Given Butler and Jokic are the two lead stars of the Finals, much has been made of that apparent beef this week, but on Wednesday at media day, Butler insisted that incident wasn’t in the minds of Miami and that his beef wasn’t with Jokic — noting the person he was mad at knows who they are.
“I wasn’t talking to Jokic. That wasn’t my beef.”
Jimmy sets the record straight on the Heat-Nuggets altercation in 2021 pic.twitter.com/LEqK6ckZbd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2023
It’s now fair to wonder if the person Jimmy was telling to “bring that shit to the back” is a member of this current Nuggets squad, and it’ll certainly be worth monitoring if (or really more likely, when) things start to get chippy in this series. That said, Butler seems to not want the focus coming into the series on anything between he and Jokic, so that should settle that and the two can go to work on the court to determine who hoists their first Larry O’Brien Trophy.