With Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals long decided and the bench players running out final moments of the Heat’s win over the Pacers, Norris Cole and Jeff Pendergraph were ejected.
Pendergraph shoved Cole as Cole attempted to fight through a Pendergraph screen, and both postured at each other to indicate they weren’t afraid of throwing down. Unless Cole said something, it didn’t appear he did anything to warrant an ejection. Must he immediately retreat once Pendergraph pushes him? I don’t think that’s a fair standard.
More likely, the officials just wanted to prevent a clearly frustrated Pacers team from escalating the problem and diffused the situation by ejecting both players.
As the players waited for the referees to sort out the problem, Pendergraph started jawing with Flo Rida’s manager, according to Craig Sager. The manager was ejected from the arena, and Flo Rida ensured he left in a timely fashion, Sager said.