NBA playoffs: 3 teams banned fans for disrespectful behavior during playoff games


Three NBA teams indefinitely banned fans Thursday after incidents in which attendees displayed unruly and downright disrespectful behavior towards players on Wednesday.

“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought a lot of excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is essential that we respect all players, officials and our fellow supporters,” said the league in a statement. “An improved code of conduct for fans will be vigorously enforced to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved.”

The National Basketball Players Association also released a statement that “no real fan” seeks to harm players or violate their personal space.

“Respect our players. Respect our game,” the NBPA statement read.

Here is an overview of the incidents:

Fan pours popcorn on Russell Westbrook

Washington Wizards goaltender Russell Westbrook plays in Game 2 of an NBA first-round playoff series.

Washington Wizards goaltender Russell Westbrook rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers series on Wednesday.

Limping to the locker room at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, the TV show showed a fan pouring popcorn on Westbrook, exasperatingly. Westbrook had to be prevented from jumping into the stands.

“I’m all for the fans to enjoy the game and have fun. It’s part of the sport. I understand. But there are some things that cross the line,” Westbrook said in an interview after. -match Wednesday.

The 76ers issued a statement On Thursday, an investigation into the incident revealed that the fan was a season pass holder who is now banned indefinitely from all events at Wells Fargo Center.
Russell Westbrook: rude NBA star with fan

“We apologize to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unacceptable and disrespectful behavior. There is no place for it in our sport or in our arena,” the statement read. team.

Valerie Camillo, President of Commercial Operations, Wells Fargo Center, also issued a statement saying the fan’s behavior was “classless” and “unacceptable”.

“We pride ourselves on having the most passionate fans in the country and the best advantage on the pitch and on the ice at home, but that type of behavior has no place in our arena,” the statement said from Camillo.

In support of Westbrook, Superstar LeBron James tweeted players wanted to know who poured the popcorn and included the hashtag #ProtectOurPlayers.
This isn’t the first time fans have disrespected Westbrook. A fan has been accused of shouting inappropriate racist remarks at Westbrook in 2019 and Westbrook pushed a fan which got too close in 2018.

A fan spits on Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks'  Trae Young, left, tries to pass New York Knicks' Reggie Bullock in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
The New York Knicks confirmed on Thursday that Fan spits on Atlanta Hawks goalie Trae Young as he tried to get the ball back on Wednesday in Game 2 of their playoff series.
The Knicks issued a statement confirming the fan’s actions and banning the fan indefinitely from Madison Square Garden.

“We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for the behavior of this fan. It was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have forwarded the information to the appropriate authorities,” said the team release.

Young’s father, Ray Young, tweeted his frustration Thursday about his son’s incident and the Westbrook incident.

“I have to get this under control,” Ray Young tweeted. “I can handle all the chanting on my son, that comes with it. But it needs to be sorted out.”

Fans withdrawn from Utah Jazz game

Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies attempts to drive between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round Playoff Series on May 26, 2021.

Security personnel removed three fans Wednesday in Game 2 of the playoffs between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies in Salt Lake City, according to the Jazz organization.

These three fans were subsequently banned indefinitely, the team said.

Grizzlies Guard’s father Ja Morant, Tee Morant, described to ESPN three incidents that happened to himself and his wife, Jamie Morant.

Morant told ESPN that a sexually explicit remark was made to Jamie Morant. Another fan, Tee Morant told ESPN, told him, “I’m going to put a dime on your back and watch you dance, boy.” The third fan kicked out, Tee Morant told ESPN, told Jamie Morant, “Shut up, bitch.”

A spokesperson for the team told CNN fans were pulled and banned due to disruptive behavior and abusive language, but did not provide further details about the individuals, citing the confidentiality. It is not clear if the fans that Tee Morant portrayed to ESPN are the same ones who were banned by Jazz.

“The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior,” the Jazz said in a statement. “We apologize to all who were affected by this unfortunate incident and condemn the unacceptable behavior of the fans. The Utah Jazz are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment.”

Ja Morant tweeted his frustration On Thursday, he said his family should be able to cheer him on and his teammates without being told inappropriate things.

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