NBA Reveals Suspension For 5 Players After Incident

Jimmy Butler, Heat, Pelicans, NBA
Feb 23, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall (8) and guard Jose Alvarado (15) are ejected after a melee due to a play during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night was an ugly one for the NBA. There were incidents in two different games with skirmishes involving the teams playing against each other. However, what occurred between the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets was buried in the news cycle because of how ugly things got between the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat.

Early in the fourth quarter, tensions rose as the altercation started when Kevin Love wrapped up Zion Williamson, who was going for a dunk after stealing the ball. Love, who after the game said he thought the maneuver was meant to protect Williamson from a fall, ended up starting an on-court altercation.

Jimmy Butler came over and got into it with Naji Marshall, who put his hand near Butler’s neck. Both players have been suspended one game by the NBA for “instigating and engaging in” an on-court altercation, per ESPN. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t believe a suspension was warranted for Butler.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Naji Marshall, Jorge Alvarado, Nikola Jovic, Thomas Bryant, New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat Updates

“It felt like Jimmy shouldn’t have gotten a game on that,” Spoelstra said Sunday at practice in Sacramento, where Miami will play on Monday. “It was really just kind of tangling and a little bit of pushing. I don’t think that deserves another game because he ended up having to miss the fourth quarter (Friday). But it is what it is. Nobody wants to see it escalate to that point.”

Joining those two in receiving a one-game suspension is Nikola Jovic of the Heat. Jovic received his suspension from the league for leaving the Miami bench during the altercation.

Receiving a suspension for the same reason is Jorge Alvarado of the Pelicans and Thomas Bryant of the Heat. Their sentences are the harshest, as both of those players received three-game bans from the NBA as some video captured during the altercation shows punches being thrown by them.

All five players were suspended without pay by the NBA. As shared by ESPN, “Butler will lose $259,968 because of the suspension — by far the most among the five players receiving bans. Bryant will be docked $52,308, while Jovic will lose $12,655. For the Pelicans, Alvarado will lose $37,988 and Marshall $11,096.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Naji Marshall, Jorge Alvarado, Nikola Jovic, Thomas Bryant, New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat Updates

New Orleans lost to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night as Marshall served his one-game suspension. Alvarado will miss games against the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers this week.

As for the Heat players, Butler and Jovic will both miss Monday night’s contest against the Sacramento Kings. Bryant will miss that game, along with the remainder of the road trip against the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets.

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