Suspensions for Pacers’ Butler, George?

By Sekou Smith,

VIDEO: Mike Scott and George Hill scuffle in the second quarter of Game 6 between the Pacers and Hawks

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Indiana Pacers will host Game 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday. But it remains to be seen if their biggest star, All-Star swingman Paul George, will be a part of the action.

Both George and reserve forward Rasual Butler stepped off of the bench and onto the court during a second quarter scuffle between George Hill and Atlanta Hawks reserve forward Mike Scott in the Pacers’ Game 6 win Thursday night at Philips Arena.

At least one expert on the topic, former NBA vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, believes a suspension is forthcoming for someone …

Hill and Scott drew technical fouls for their shoving match. George and Butler took small steps but remained in the bench area. But the league has historically held players to the letter of the law in these cases.

The rule states that “during an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be suspended, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000.”

Jackson was the man who handed out one-game suspensions in the 2007 playoffs when then Phoenix Suns big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the “immediate vicinity of their bench” after Robert Horry body blocked Steve Nash into the scorer’s table in Game 4 of a series between the Suns and San Antonio Spurs.

“The rule with respect to leaving the bench area during an altercation is very clear,” Jackson said then. “Historically, if you break it, you will get suspended, regardless of what the circumstances are.”

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he wasn’t worried about it after Game 6.

“I haven’t seen (the video), but somebody told me about it,” he said. “I’m not concerned with any suspensions until we hear something.”


  1. kobeballhog says:

    you pacers bandwagoners have nothing to be proud of, you win by outside help, you get all the favorable calls, suspensions not given wherein its clearly stated in the rule, these hawks have given it all even after all adversaries, an 8th seeded team giving your overrated pacers a run for their money. and you guys still happy? it just clearly shows pacers most overrated team ever.

  2. srouse11 says:

    none of the players will miss game 7

  3. Kopogero says:

    Atlanta Hawks bench was not in the court until Mike Scott pulled way back. While Paul George start walking toward them while they were in the process of whatever it was going on between them.

  4. Kopogero says:

    Pause 0:44-0:45 into the video. Paul George didn’t have one foot or standing on the line, he walked inside the court.

  5. Bernardo says:

    That’s an absolutely ridiculous rule. So Nene grabs an opponent on the neck and gets 1 game suspension and those Pacers step some inches into the court and get the same 1 game suspension. Not to talk about the whole Hawks bench inside the court. So if rules are rules the two Pacers should be suspended and the whole Hawks’ bench as well.

    Again, that’s absolutely ridiculous.

  6. Matt says:

    The Hawks players left the bench too. You can see a pic here of them standing on the court during the fight.

  7. Supreme Solomon says:

    NBA gone soft S.O.F.T

  8. Kopogero says:

    Both players choose knowingly to walk into the court so their intention was clear. Both will get suspension or the rule is not rule and any future player disobeying it will have the right to appeal it if this is not handled properly.

  9. R-Lo says:

    This rule is ridiculous. George hardly moved. Let the players play and quit pissing off the fans with these stupid suspensions.

  10. Hawks Bench says:

    they need to be suspended…anyway it would ruin the game

  11. drjay says:

    Wow, way to make bad decisions NBA. Why give Butler a one game suspension? He didn’t stand up, he was already standing. What about the Hawks bench then? Why is the elbow of Mike Scott not updraded? Very irrational and frustrating to see Butler suspended… If can’t handle the attitude of your players, you better not be trying to cover it up by stupid rulings. Especially not in Playoff time and with the heat flopping and travelling through space and time…

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      Mike Scott shuld b suspended! He’s the one that started the contact and put his hands on hills face. Not rocket science.

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      I dunt think Hill shuld b suspended

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      Dunt b jealous cuz the heat swept Charlotte and can outscore any team!!!! Remember Lebron James is a BEAST. Thts all u haters got is flopping and traveling. Hmmmmm Whar bout Mabu Ginobli and all the other players? JEALOUS


      EVERY NBA PLAYER TRAVELS, ON ALMOST EVERY PLAY. Im no heat fan, but thats just ignorant if you hold that against lebron. hes still HANDS DOWN the best player in the nba..pacers are trash, shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs at all. Look at their roster, a bunch of average players with one really good player (paul george). other than that they are garbage. I hope they win just so they can get DESTROYED by the wizards hahahahah that should make pacers fans feel good.

  12. jo says:

    why so concerned about George not playing? Hawks best player Al Horford isnt playing all series anyways! so call it even folks.

  13. BBShay says:

    I will gladly take Paul George and Butler out as long as the Hawks bench that is on the court gets suspended too… Pacers minus George and Butler vs the five Hawks that were on the floor. Nice… Check out the background in the NBA TV coverage. The Hawks bench is completely on the court.

  14. Clinton says:

    ha – If the NBA suspends players based simply on distance from their seats during the altercation (the reasoning given by Jackson when he handed out suspensions back in 2007), the Pacers still win if they lose Butler and George…because the Hawks will only have 5 players! Their whole bench ended up out on the court, further from their seats than either George or Butler.

  15. 305 says:

    George should be suspended and if he’s not the nba is rigged !!

  16. John says:

    Should be a suspension. Butler and George are clearly heading towards the altercation. Rules are rules. They left their bench. The Hawks bench were merely onlookers. But George and Butler walked towards it.

  17. Mitch says:

    Well see what Silver is really made of with this one.. Not that hard to ban an owner for life when 99% of the people are with you and you can follow the guidelines that each owner has agreed to. Harder to make the right (meaning correct to how the rule is written and how the rule was applied in the past) call when it is something most people are against. I’m still sour from Amare and Diaw’s 2007 suspensions as a Suns fan and no action here would be the ultimate SLAP in the face

  18. neil says:

    Amare stoudamire and Patrick Ewing were suspended for the same thing Ewing in a game seven paul george is no different rules are rules and he clearly broke the rule if you don’t enforce the rules why have them

  19. TitanPacerGirl79 says:

    To the one awaiting a Suspension. Says a lot about your “love” for your team if your only awaiting the suspension maybe because its the only way you think your team can advance. Smh. How bout No Suspension & let them all play. As well maybe hold off on all the bs calling that has happened this whole series. That said. GO PACERS!! May the best team win!!!

  20. nba says:

    Rules are rules if the hammer comes down on Sterling, I would hope the hammer would come down on the players too. NBA needs to be consistent. This should be really interesting what they do.

  21. JohnnyyGo says:

    Suns fan here. The league cost the Suns that series vs. the Spurs for suspending Diaw and Stoudemire. Idiot Stern didn’t do the same when the Spurs left the bench. There is zero consistency with the definition and enforcement of the “immediate vicinity of their bench” issue. Typical NBA – a suspension will only be made if it can benefit the team that garners higher ratings in the next round. Prediction: Pacer’s players WILL NOT be suspended for this although by rule, they should be.

  22. Hadi says:

    I’m a Lakers fan and I couldn’t care less about who wins this series, but a suspension is ridiculous! He barely took a step! With that logic they should suspend every bench player who jumps up when someone dunks!

  23. horace says:

    hahah its amazing they even consider it, those of you mentioning rules are rules no exceptions, you exhibit great ignorance about what, rules or even law meen. There is no sense into ruling if it has no interpretation by whom applys it. Rules have a reason, like charles Barkley said it. The ends to these rule is to prevent, players from elevating the altercation or making it worst. Dont be airheaded, the fact and the matter is george like any human being, reacts and standing up on his bench area, dosnt escalate the altercation! Base your opinions on reason, not a clueless, perception.

  24. ... says:

    Wow. Can’t believe that taking 2 steps away from the Bench Area is going to cause you a SUSPENSION. What kind of league has this become?

  25. BBShay says:

    I will gladly take Paul George and Butler out as long as the Hawks bench that is on the court gets suspended too… Pacers – George and Butler vs the five Hawks that were on the floor. Nice… Proof:

  26. TROYBOY says:

    This rule was put in for intentional purposes. The intent was not there. Like one post said. It’s human nature to have a reaction. I didn’t see anything that will get anyone suspended.

  27. JB says:

    All the Heat fans are salivating at the prospect of George being suspended and facing the Hawks/Wizards instead of the Pacers.

    It’s a joke how easy the Heat have had it so far, facing the easiest opponent out of all playoff teams….the Charlotte LOLcats minus Jefferson.

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:


    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      You really think Jefferson was gonna make a diff? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee. U really think they wulda won. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  28. myke council says:

    George barely moved but butler then take more steps than George did….. butler not should be suspended…

  29. benndover says:

    LOL…NBA says no one can go out on court and then you have MLB when those bozo’s ALL run on the field and start throwing punches like girls

  30. Vedo says:

    Typical media hype. OMG something occurred during a game that no one else seemed to notice/mind, so obviously a topic needs to be opened, people need to be involved, panic has to set in, in order for us to discuss whether or not this event, if taken seriously, would have changed the outcome of the series, and why not the championship run itself.

  31. benndover says:

    COME ON SILVER…after all this mess with Sterling and the tough talk that rules MUST be followed then George must be suspended…IF NOT it will be just another case of favoritism …George is the superstar and Butler is a reserve…i’m sure Stu would claim that cop out and suspend Butler and not George just to save the Pacers…

    HEY if Amare was suspended for doing the same thing then your damn right the fans call for George to be suspended too…RULES ARE RULES isnt that what you say!

  32. Hayden says:

    If this was lebron or any heat player this wouldnt even be a question…..been a great series. Let them finish it the right way!

  33. Doug Ranger says:

    Who moderates this site? I have posted twice earlier today, to not have my comments show up… what gives, feel free to send me a private message that explains why MY comments were omitted.

  34. theking0522 says:

    suspect that man. The league did it to Phoenix a couple of years ago. Nobody is above the law

  35. joshua mullins says:

    The old days players pushed/punched shot the T and played ball! Running off the bench towards the altercation is one thing standing up and a foot crossing a line 12 inches in front of you is another storry… Glad my favorite player will be retired soon so I can be done with the so called NBA refs ruin the games integrity and no team can be a power team or player like the 80s 90s Knicks, Pistons, Celtics when ball was ball! I also wonder if a black owner with a white girlfriend done the exzact same thing would we even heard of it? NO WAY

  36. Evens says:

    Suspending him for that would be like getting a hefty speeding ticket for going 1 mile over the speed limit. No law/rule/regulation should be that rigid.

  37. bill says:

    Piss on the paceers…… suspend the immature fa**it

  38. joshua mullins says:

    These rules and refs kill basketball these days. The first 4 minutes+ of a 3rd quarter was foul after foul after foul after travel after travel and out of 4 minutes of the game wasted and 7 8 fouls later the first basket (besides 1 free throw) was made at the 7:50 mark.. Out of every foul and travel called maybe 1 warranted a foul and there was not even close to a traveling called the NBA should be NBP you figure out the p!

  39. Lanz (@LanzCIVIC) says:

    no not in Game 7 man…

  40. cupo says:

    he should be suspended rules are rules, atlanta played vs 8 in game 6 redicilous calls one after another in 3rd qt

  41. John C says:

    So everybody is talking about precedent but nobody noticed that Gortat doing it during the Nene incident or the 3 Atlanta players on the court during the same incident?Just George.How was he not in the “vicinity” of the bench?If there is a suspension for that then the NBA is unwatchable.

  42. koiikoii13 says:

    To EDITOR name comment:

    Yes. It was a referee technical timeout due to the altercation. They are not required to stand up during an altercation and a technical timeout. So if Paul George and Butler did leave the vicinity of their bench. Absolutely, they will get a suspension. It will be a big loss if PG will be suspended 1 game + a do-or-die game this saturday against Hawks. I still remember the altercation between Boston Celtics and Lakers players around 2009 i think. No one ever stood up that time, they stood up after the altercation. So yeah. Suspension is suspension.

  43. goatballhogkobe says:

    Suspensions are needed unless nba wants their credibility really questioned after so many questionable ref calls in many games in these playoffs. Rules are rules no exceptions.

  44. Editor says:

    This is definitely a grey area because it looks like there was a time out called at the same time that the altercation started to unfold, so the players were standing up to get into a huddle for the time-out. While the players were watching the altercations, they were not moving towards it, they appeared to be standing up because of the time out. Because of this there shouldn’t be any suspensions.

    • Game Time says:

      Good angle…but someone is getting suspended. I don’t think it will be George, but Butler was clearly heading towards them. Hill put his hands in Scotts face and I think he can be suspended for it.

    • Cryogenics says:

      There wasn’t a time out called, it was a foul called. The only reason for the delay in action was to see what happened in the altercation. They should both be suspended to remain consistant.

    • BB Fan says:

      Where did you see a time out? I have watched it several times…. not looking good for the Pacers.

  45. woosie says:

    I guess it depends on what the NBA will determine the word “vicicnity” actually means, it’s a loose term. My guess is no way will they let a mega star sit a game 7 out, too much money.

  46. RS1 says:

    You can’t be suspended for that small step. It’s human nature to come to an aide of an ally. But they went back to the bench right away. NBA, you are going to ruin a good 1st round match up if you suspend players. Change the rule. If they have contact when they cross over the line, then yes. But if they stepped a few feet in the court, come on, don’t be ridiculous.

    • anonynous says:

      No, I’d disagree. There are enough nba refs and securitt guards to handle any situation. Players moving toward the scene just make it hard to tell who did what. Suspensions are due for george n butler

      • pancho says:

        No, I disagree with you anonymous. They won’t participate or interfere in any way with the “handling” of the situation. They barely moved toward the scene to even consider an interference or making things worse. Coming back to their bench is actually an act of respect to the rules.

  47. Dave says:

    What about 1) The elbow to the head by Mike Scott…and 2) The punch Mike Scott threw at the end. It didn’t connect, but it’s dangerously close to a punch thrown….

  48. Spire says:

    Shouldn’t be a suspension. They did nothing wrong and suspension should only occur if they got in the scuffle themselves or very close to it. Taking 2 steps up/forward is a natural reaction. Suspension was dumb for the Suns and quite possibly cost them the championship that year. If a suspension occurs now for either Butler or George…the league is a joke.

  49. Pace says:

    How about all the Hawks players off the bench, on the court. Pause the clip at 37 seconds.

    • Cris says:

      Thank you for pointing that out! If George and Butler get suspended then you have to suspended several Hawks players for being on the court which is more than George does.

  50. Giangy says:

    Let us see Hawks bench too… i think at least 3 players should be suspended…. so stupid

  51. Lugnuts says:

    After looking at the video replay again you can see at least two Hawks player stepping out onto the floor..ever farther than the Pacers players! Can’t tell who the players are but if the Pacers players are called for being on the floor, you got to look at the Hawks bench as well!

  52. Lugnuts says:

    Has anyone looked at the Atlanta bench? Players are all jumping onto the court after a big play these days. I can not see the Hawks bench from the TV replay but I am sure there are a couple of players out on the floor as well!

  53. kitten mittens says:

    the nba isn’t gonna risk the pacers getting eliminated, George will most likely play in game 7

  54. bee says:

    i would suspend all their bench for staring at them

  55. nathaniel easton says:

    Why are we even talking about this he did nothing.

  56. Joe_B says:

    Where is video of the Atlanta bench? If a single player on their team is also “on the court” instead of seated on their bench then they better be suspended as well (if the hammer comes down on R. Butler and P. George).

  57. DB says:

    The rules are the rules. Keven Garnet pushed an official CLEARLY in the series when the hawks took the Celtics to 7 and they did nothing to him. It does not matter if he only took 2 steps on the court. He had to be restrained. Someone felt like they needed to push him back. CLEARLY a 1 game suspension. You cant lay the wood on the one situation and then come up weak on this one.

    One Game Suspension and 50k.
    Lets see it NBA

  58. PacerFan says:

    There is a photo and video evidence of SEVERAL Hawks players leaving their bench and stepping on to the floor as well during this incident. Why isn’t anyone reporting that? If the NBA feels compelled to do something irrational, so be it. Paul is a great player, but he’s not our whole team. If they suspend him, the NBA should also suspend every Hawk that left their bench and stepped on to the floor as well.

  59. BB Fan says:

    Rules are rules, NO favoritism should be shown, if it hadn’t been for the coaching staff grabbing them and pushing them back, they would have been in the thick of it.

    Rules are NOT made to be broken or bent.

  60. ra81 says:

    What about the whole hawks bench stepping inside the court??

  61. Kriz says:

    They should be suspended, but they won’t –> Basketball reasons!

  62. Erik says:

    If they suspend Paul and another pacer, then the Atlanta bench players that stepped a few steps on to the court should go as well… stupid rule. No intention to be part of the action should equal non-issue.

  63. JV says:

    Coaching staff was quick to push them back off the court, but the rules are the rules. Even though i personally don’t think they should get suspended, thought it was ridiculous back in 06 as well, it’s normal to stand up and react/take a closer look. Let both teams settle game 7 in full force

  64. MoneyOnATLBaby says:

    waiting for suspension!:) and BOOM ATL round 2!

    • PLAYOFFS says:

      If I was a Hawks fan I wouldn’t want him suspended because I would rather my team beat them at full strength.

      • CMajor says:

        I am a Hawks fan, and I agree that I want my team to beat them at full strength so there are no excuses for these Pacers. I can hear the so called experts now, “Pacers lost because George didn’t play game 7”, when in fact, had Paul George not played one game in this series, the so called experts would have still picked us to lose this series. And that’s a fact.

      • IfaPacer says:

        If I was a Pacers fan, I would want to wait until Al Horford was back and 100% because I would rather my team beat them at full strength.