In the early minutes of the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz, Nikola Jokic caught Jonas Jerebko with an elbow while trying a swim move to gain position. Jerebko sold the flop, and not only was Jokic called for a foul, but after further review by the officials the call was changed to a flagrant 2 and Jokic was ejected from the game.
Here’s video of Jokic’s flagrant two and subsequent ejection. He caught Jerebko on a swim move. pic.twitter.com/Pf8MiKSVFR— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) December 27, 2017
To call this a flagrant 2 and eject Jokic from the game is absolutely ridiculous. By definition, a flagrant 2 is considered when there is “unnecessary and excessive contact by a player against an opponent.” In this case it seems at least that there wasn’t anything excessive about it, and it certainly didn’t appear intentional. There’s no doubt that contact was made with Jerebko, but it certainly wasn’t excessive.
Don’t be surprised tomorrow if the call is rescinded to either a common foul or a flagrant 1. This won’t be the first time this season that Jokic has been wrongly ejected, either. Jokic was tossed on November 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers for arguing a non-call with a referee, but the penalty for his ejection was later reversed after being deemed too severe.
In the end, the Nuggets held on to blow out the Jazz so it doesn’t really matter, but it’s still very poor refereeing and a bad look for the league when ticky-tack calls like this are made.