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 everyone involved. “
The National Basketball Players Association also released a statement saying that “no real fan” seeks to harm players or violate their personal space.
“Respect our players. Respect our game, ”the statement from the NBPA read.
Fan pours popcorn on Russell Westbrook
Washington Wizards goaltender Russell Westbrook rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers series on Wednesday.
“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 a post-game interview on Wednesday.
“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 that in our sport or our arena, ”the team statement said.
“We pride ourselves on having the most passionate supporters in the country and the best advantage on the pitch and on the ice at home, but this type of behavior has no place in our arena,” said Camillo’s statement.
Fan spits on Trae Young
“We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan’s behavior. It was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our room. We have forwarded the information to the competent authorities, ”the team’s statement said.
“I have to master this,” Ray Young tweeted. “I can handle all the chanting on my son, that comes with it. But that needs to be sorted out. ”
Fans withdrawn from Utah Jazz game
Security personnel removed three fans on 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 of the individuals, citing life private. It’s not clear if the fans that Tee Morant described to ESPN are the same ones that 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 have been 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. “
James praises the NBA
After a Lakers victory on Thursday night, LeBron James praised the NBA and teams for protecting their players.
“All the heckling is great. It doesn’t bother us. We will hear the boos. We understand this. Maybe a few cursed words here and there, ”James said. “We understand that too. I actually love it. I actually agree with that, ”
“But there is a limit. And I think we’ve all grown up and we all know what the line is when you cross it, ”he added.