Butler vs Jokic: Why NBA Finals could reignite bad blood between stars

Butler vs Jokic: Why NBA Finals could reignite bad blood between stars


May 31st, 2023

Afascinating and unusual NBA Finals series begins in Denver on Thursday night, when Nikola Jokic and the top-seeded Nuggets host Jimmy Butler and the upstart Miami Heat.

While no historical rivalry exists between the Nuggets and the Heat, the two superstars on each team engaged in one heated confrontation during a regular season game in 2021.

What happened between Jimmy and Joker?

On Nov. 8, 2021, Jokic shoved Heat forward Markieff Morris during the fourth quarter of an eventual Denver win. The hard foul kept Morris out of action for four months and earned Jokic a one-game suspension.

After the incident, Butler stuck up for his teammate and called out Jokic on the bench. Joker later apologized for his actions, but an intense showdown in this year's NBA Finals could reignite the rivalry between the two star players.

Both players in early Finals MVP conversation

Butler and Jokic will each have to avoid getting riled up in order to give their teams the best chance to win a championship. Both players figure to be in strong contention for NBA Finals MVP when the series is over and done.

The Nuggets are the early favorites to win the Finals and their first-ever title, but Butler and the Heat have thrived on being the underdog all postseason.

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