Paul George apologizes for kicking ball into stands, expects fine

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Sunday, November 6, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pacers small forward Paul George was ejected from Saturday night's game against the Chicago Bulls after he kicked a ball into the stands and it hit a fan in the face.

After the game, George apologized for the incident.

"I meant to kick the ball against the mat, the stanchion, I guess," George said after the Pacers' 111-94 win over the Bulls. "And my soccer skills isn't as good as I thought. I apologized to the people who I hit, and I'm glad my team was able to pick up this win and me not be at fault for the loss."

The play occurred with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter, after George was called for a foul. With the ball still bouncing on the floor, George kicked it into the first few rows of seats.

"Sure, I'll get a fine," George said. "It happened. But most importantly, we got a good win tonight."

George said when he apologized to the fan, she told him she was OK.

"She said she's fine," George said. "She's good."

George's ejection caught many by surprise, considering it resulted in the first ejection of his career.

"It looked like he got frustrated with the call and kicked the ball," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "And whenever you punch or kick a ball [and] it goes into the stands, that's an automatic ejection."

McMillan said he's hopeful that George won't be suspended.

"I hope not," McMillan said. "Emotions took over in that situation, and he knows that's something he can't do. That's an immediate ejection."

George finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He calmly fielded questions in front of his locker after the game and said he's hopeful he can move past the incident.

"It happened," George said. "[I'll] move forward from it. I'll learn. Again, grateful that we won this game and that ejection didn't cost us."

Related Video