Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was forced off the court late in the second quarter of his team’s 110-122 loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. It was later determined that Jokic had suffered a knee contusion after bumping into Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
In an attempt to drive on Jokic, collided with the reigning NBA MVP. After the two players’ knees banged together, Jokic went down immediately, clutching at his right knee. He left the court almost immediately after the incident.
While the rest of the team expressed much concern at the time of the incident, Jokic remained convinced that the knee injury was not serious. Despite this belief, Denver coach Michael Malone decided it best to bring the player off in order to avoid the risk of further aggravating the injury.
“What I have learned about Nikola is, if you leave it up to Nikola, he is going to play every game,” Malone explained. “So sometimes I have to make decisions for him, and it makes no sense for me when he told me it feels a little weak for him to play in the second half.”