sSerbian Heritage Night was celebrated in Chicago, where there is a copious colony of citizens originally from the Balkan country. The champion Nuggets arrived with Nikola Jokic at the helm. But fans only got to enjoy 16 minutes of arguably the best player in the world today. He was sent off for drawing a foul late in the second quarter.

The action once again highlighted the extreme sensitivity of some referees, who do not accept protests from players or engage in dialogue with them. This season Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul have already been expelled for trivial reasons… The Warriors point guard was expelled by Scott Foster, with whom he already has a historic relationship of confrontations. Maybe the NBA, always focusing on spectacle, should make referees see that fans want to see the stars, not them.

“I crossed the line, but sometimes that word doesn't cross the line and it's not even a technique,” ​​said Jokic, who didn't want to go into details to avoid being fined by the NBA. Mark Lindsay, head of the refereeing team, also had no influence on the controversy. “We don’t normally talk publicly about what a player said, but the language met the standards for an expulsion,” he said.

The fact is that the Nuggets won 106-114, despite the expulsion of their star, who only managed to score four points, nine rebounds and six assists. The Denver franchise even accepted this with irony. “We want Jokic to be sent off as quickly as possible and see if we can win from there,” joked Aaron Gordon, because when the Serbian went to the locker room the game was tied (47-54).

With so much time without Jokic, Reggie Jackson was the Nuggets' top scorer with 25 points. Nikola Vucevic, with 26+16, and the hot Coby White (27) tried without luck for the Bulls.