The Indiana Pacers are suspending assistant coach Greg Foster for one game and fining Goga Bitadze for their argument on court Wednesday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Foster and Bitadze have had a strong working relationship this season and that’s expected to continue, but emotions are running high in Indiana, notes Wojnarowski.
Foster, who had to be held back by Myles Turner, was originally upset at Bitadze for not challenging Sacramento Kings’ Moe Harkless on a drive to the basket.
Following that play, the Pacers came down on offense and Bitadze responded by knocking down a three-pointer.
While running back on defense, Bitadze appeared to tell Foster to “sit the f–k down,” which set off Foster and led to the verbal exchange on the bench during the next timeout.
Video of the whole incident:
Head coach Nate Bjorkgren tried to downplay the incident after the game.
“We’re in a frustrating stretch here, a lot going on with the challenges of navigating through the season,” he said. “The competitive juices are flowing. Things like that will happen.”
Bjorkgren also said that he spoke to both Foster and Bitadze.
“I’m going to find out exactly what was said and in what way. They’re both trying so hard. They’re both competitive,” he said. “They both want what’s best for the team, and it didn’t happen that way. It boiled over a little bit.”
All of this comes on the heels of a recent report that Bjorkgren’s future with the team is uncertain, amid a year of difficulties with players and staff.
The Pacers currently sit as the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-35, a half game ahead of the Washington Wizards who are the last play-in spot.
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