Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the league has decided not to suspend Pacers guards Paul George and Rasual Butler for Game 7 for leaving the bench during Thursday's Hawks-Pacers altercation in Game 6.
All video of the Hawks-Pacers altercation has been reviewed by the NBA, and no further action will be taken, league source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) May 2, 2014
The lack of a suspension will outrage many, after the 2007 fracas over Robert Horry's hip check of Suns guard Steve Nash resulted in suspensions for Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for standing up casually and moseying towards the altercation without engaging. Stu Jackson was head of Basketball Operations then, Rod Thorn took over that post last summer.
So now George is clear for Game 7 and we have a better interpretation of the sprit of the rule. The rule is designed to punish players for leaving "the immediate vicinity of the bench" in the event of altercations. It's meant to prevent players from rushing off the bench to fight. George didn't do that, neither did Stoudemire or Diaw in 2007.
This isn't about changing the rule; it's about how it's interpreted in this instance.
This is yet another indication of a more level-headed approach from Adam Silver's league office vs. the literalist interpretations under David Stern.