Michael Jordan Says Hitting Malik Monk on Head Was 'Tap of Endearment'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, center, shouts at an official in the final seconds of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Officials ruled the Hornets had six players on the floor in the final second of the game, giving one free throw to Detroit. The Hornets won 108-107. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan labeled his swipe at Hornets guard Malik Monk a "tap of endearment."

"It was like a big brother and little brother tap," Jordan said Thursday, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "No negative intent. Only love!"

Jordan was reacting to Monk running off the bench and onto the floor after Jeremy Lamb hit what proved to be the game-winner in Wednesday's 108-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

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Because Monk and other Hornets players ran onto the court with 0.3 seconds remaining, referees assessed Charlotte a technical foul. Langston Galloway made a free throw, but Detroit didn't have enough time to get another shot up.

Jordan proceeded to exchange words with Monk before taking a pair of innocuous swipes at the second-year guard.

There clearly wasn't any ill intent from Jordan, and the incident will look familiar to anybody who played sports as a kid. Jordan cut the figure of a disappointed parent who wanted to capitalize on a teachable moment.

Plus, few people can explain the finer details of how to celebrate a win better than Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and the greatest basketball player ever.

From now on, Monk will know not to leave the bench until he hears the final buzzer.

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