Precedent states that there’s a really good chance that Paul George gets suspended.
Logic indicates that it shouldn’t happen.
Yes, George technically left the bench while a “scuffle” broke out on the court; so did Rasual Butler. However, when Butler was done approaching the scrum, he was definitely no longer in the vicinity of the Pacers bench; George didn’t exactly go that far.
Here’s the video:
Technically, George was on the court. Though, the question is, was he still in the vicinity of the Pacers bench? That’s the $50,000 question. And it’s also the question that the NBA needs to answer before either suspending or not suspending George.
This is the word for word rule:
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.
In 2007, Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended for leaving the vicinity of the bench. Will that happen again? Should it happen again?
But will the NBA bench the best player on the Pacers just before a Game 7? Will personal interest have any weight in the process, thinking?
Is stepping one foot onto the court enough to warrant a suspension in this situation? Probably not. In the end, the NBA won’t suspend George — for a myriad of reasons.
And one of the biggest ones, no matter what they try to force feed us, is going to be because Game 7 won’t be the same without George suiting up.
Then again, how about this trade off?
Works either way.