SAN ANTONIO – Patty Mills, one of the most easy-going Spurs players in history, was involved in a heated scuffle that led to multiple technical fouls and an ejection during San Antonio’s win over Indiana on Monday night.
The incident occurred in the fourth quarter when Pacers forward JaKarr Sampson shoved Mills on the back of the head while the two were positioning themselves for a rebound while Indiana was on offense.
On the ensuing play, Mills ran down the court and threw a shoulder into Sampson’s body. The 6-foot-7 Sampson shoved Mills again and appeared to head butt the 6-foot-1 veteran Spurs guard.
Pics of the @Patty_Mills scuffle with Pacers forward JaKarr Sampson last night. Patty is listed between 6'0 and 6'1, Sampson is 6'7. Mills never backed down and Rudy Gay came in quick to back Mills up. (📸 @AP's Michael Conroy.) #GoSpursGo #Spurs #NBA pic.twitter.com/fhzHvNdU75— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 20, 2021
Mills, however, did not back down and teammates rushed over to stop the scuffle. Spurs forward Rudy Gay then got into a shoving match with Sampson before everyone was separated.
Officials ejected Sampson from the game and assessed technical fouls to Mills and Gay.
@MacPena @NicYarbro @sweeptheleague @valem1962 @TbirdTr3y_10 @AngelGutie3 @chelseatorrestv @TheVickieVix @Josh810 Looking at that Patty Mills & JaKarr Sampson dust-up from last night's game. Gotta give props to Patty Mills for not backing down. #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/XUlrlkg4lK— Joe Garcia (@twoshotspodcast) April 20, 2021
Afterward, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about the incident, saying he could not remember any time when Mills was involved in a similar scenario.
“He’s too sweet, too nice a guy. He’s not looking for a fight,” Popovich said.
Spurs guard Derrick White said the entire incident was “crazy” and he was doing what he could to hold back Gay from going after Sampson.
“I’m not sure how it started. But obviously, we know Patty, one of the nicest guys in the league,” said White. “I don’t know how it started. But we’ve always got Pat’s back.”
Fans also shared a similar reaction and came to the defense of Mills, saying on social media, “Who starts a fight with the most likable guy on the Spurs— Patty Mills.”
Who starts a fight with the most likable guy on the Spurs— *Patty Mills* 🤣— Steve Arionus (@historianed_) April 20, 2021
Good morning to everyone except people who try to fight Patty Mills— Alfonso Dieng Quanamic (@thehalestone) April 20, 2021
Who tries to fight Patty Mills? Seriously, who does that?!— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) April 20, 2021