Sitting courtside last night, Phoenix Suns owner Matt Ishbia grabbed the basketball that had gone out of bounds. Like a fourth grader at recess, he wouldn’t let go when Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic grabbed for it to start his team’s fastbreak.
Jokic elbowed the owner who then threw up his hands like basketball players do when they fake flail and want the ref to call an offensive foul.
“I should have been given two free throws for getting fouled by Jokic,” said Ishbia, the 42-year-old mortgage banker who is worth $5.1 billion and was a scrub on the Michigan State team many years ago. “I got fouled and I deserved to go to the line for some free throws. That’s just basic basketball rules. When you get fouled – even if you fake flop like I did to overdramatize Jokic’s elbow hoping to get him suspended from the game – you should get to shoot foul shots. We were in the penalty so I had two shots coming to me. I’ve filed a protest with the NBA league office requesting that in Game 6 I get to shoot those two free throws.”
Ishbia got rich by playing these sorts of shameful shenanigans in his rise to billion-hood. He was known for being a phony during negotiations, making up arbitrary rules, and arguing in ways that were misleading and juvenile.
“I have a philosophy of life that if you can cheat you should do that, and you should take your ball and go home, or at least not give it back to the opponents if it works to your advantage. That’s what I did last night. I saw an opening to screw up the fast break of the Nuggets, and I faked how badly the elbow made me fall backward. We needed Jokic out of the game. Basketball is business and business is business. I became a billionaire executing non-role-model tactics. It’s worked so far so I’ll keep on doing it.”
For Game 5 in Denver, Ishbia plans to sit courtside just like he did for Games 3 and 4 in Phoenix.
“If I get a chance to grab the ball and hold it away from any Nuggets player to give my team an advantage, I’ll do it all over again,” he said. “And if they foul me they better give me my foul shots.”
The Denver Nuggets issued a statement saying Ishbia would not be allowed in their stadium for the rest of the Series.
The NBA league office said the owner would not be allowed to shoot free throws.
“Mr. Ishbia is not a player and he faked a foul on Joker,” said Adam Silver. “This is conduct unbecoming of a league owner or anyone else on Earth for that matter.
“I’ll sue the NBA, the Nuggets, and Jokic if they close me out of Game 5,” he said. “I’ve got $5.2 billion in the bank. I could easily pay for a lawsuit and you know I’ll do something unimpressive to win the case. This is how you become a billionaire.”
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