A scuffle broke out on Monday when the San Antonio Spurs visited the Indiana Pacers, and Derrick White was almost at the wrong place at the wrong time. Pacers forward JaKarr Sampson was out there looking for some smoke as he got physical with Spurs guard Patty Mills, which eventually forced Rudy Gay to step in to help protect his teammate.
Luckily, White was there to act as a referee to try and deescalate things. After the game, he reassured Mills that they will always have his back amid all the “crazy” against the Pacers (via Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News).
“That was crazy. I'm not sure how it started. But obviously, we know Patty, one of the nicest guys in the league. I don't know how it started. But we've always got Pat's back.”
It seemed as though the altercation started in the previous play where both Mills and Sampson first bumped bodies. Mills boxed out Sampson, which the Pacers forward clearly was upset about. Sampson ended up taking his frustration out on Mills on the next play and when Gay stepped in to try and cool things down, Sampson continued to erupt.
Things got a little chippy between the Spurs and Pacers. pic.twitter.com/8RmqU6Mgmz
— Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) April 20, 2021
Unfortunately for Sampson, he was tossed for the altercation and Mills didn't even flinch.
JaKarr Sampson wanted to fight Patty Mills
Patty Mills laughed in his face 😂
📸: AP’s Michael Conroy pic.twitter.com/N2c4r1QBtL
— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) April 20, 2021
White added that he would definitely want to steer away from being in a scuffle against Gay, a 34-year-old veteran who doesn't easily back down from anything.
Asked if he would want to tangle with Rudy Gay, Derrick White said:
"Did you all see me? I was holding him back crazy…But, no."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) April 20, 2021
After all the pushing and shoving, Rudy Gay and company ended up winning the on-court battle, 109-94 to climb back to .500.