Markieff Morris may menace an opponent and even ramp up a confrontation by shoving someone, but he says he won’t fight on an NBA court for one simple reason.
“Nobody’s going to fight in a game, including me,” Morris said Friday night following the physical Wizards win over the Toronto Raptors. “I ain’t trying to lose no damn money.”
Though Morris never threw a punch during the handful of testy exchanges in Game 3, he still lost some.
On Saturday night, the league announced a $25,000 fine for Morris for “attempting to escalate an altercation and pushing a game official.” The incident occurred in the first quarter, when Morris took exception to contact from Raptors rookie OG Anunoby. Morris gathered to his feet and elbowed Anunoby, who was standing with his back to Morris. In response, Anunoby shoved Morris twice before teammates and officials rushed in to create separation.
“It wasn’t really a scuffle. I felt he went high with his elbow, so it really got me started,” Morris explained. “We need some physicality. I feel like when we played them in Toronto, they did everything too freely. So this was trying to set the tone on how we need to play the whole series and especially on Sunday.”
However, things took a left turn for Morris as he tried to maneuver back to Onunoby and pushed aside veteran official Ken Mauer.
When officials reviewed the play, Morris, as well as Onunoby, earned only a technical foul each. However, since Morris shoved Mauer, he could not avoid his second fine of the month. On April 8, Morris received a $15,000 fine for “directing inappropriate comments toward a game official” while being ejected from a game.
On the night Morris was ejected, his identical twin, Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris, was also kicked out of his game. And in a strange twist, the brothers were both issued fines by the league on Saturday. Fifteen minutes before the NBA sent out a news release on “Washington’s Markieff Morris,” it announced a $15,000 fine for Marcus Morris for his public criticism of officiating following the Celtics’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Morris may not have fought, but he reiterated that Washington must display more toughness in the playoffs.
“I think that’s the way we need to go: be physical with these guys,” Morris said. “Nothing free.”
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