The NBA has seen its ratings crater this season following last year’s fall off, leaving some to openly question if the league is in decline. The poor ratings are widely seen as a byproduct of the NBA’s full embrace of the far left Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, led by primadonna star LeBron James.
All of which comes to mind when Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks reacted to an overly-exuberant — and possibly well-lubricated — fan running onto the court Monday night during Game 4 in the playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“We don’t need you, we don’t need your dollars,” Brooks said afterward, speaking of some fans.
Bleacher Report shared video footage of the incident, along with the caption: “A fan attempted to run on the court in the middle of Game 4 between the Sixers-Wizards.”
A security guard is seen tackling the fan, who did appear to be headed onto the court — but looks can be deceiving.
A fan attempted to run on the court in the middle of Game 4 between the Sixers-Wizards pic.twitter.com/51pdBKOxwh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 1, 2021
Turns out, the man had already run out on the court while the players were down on the other end and pretended to dunk a ball.
He appeared to be trying to make a hasty exit as the players arrived on his end of the court. That’s when a security guard tackled him backward, pushing him back onto the court.
Here are other angles capturing the moment:
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) June 1, 2021
Fan before he gets tackled by security at Sixers wizards game pic.twitter.com/AZncKLsGnN
— 🧐 (@the0ther) June 1, 2021
Almost as long as there have been sports, there have been overly enthusiastic fans interrupting play — the sale of alcohol surely being a contributing factor.
For Brooks, Monday was no harmless prank. But then, it followed an incident last Wednesday when a Philadelphia fan dumped popcorn on Wizards player Russell Westbrook as he was exiting the arena — the fan was banned indefinitely from the facility and had 76ers season-ticket membership revoked.
The fan who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook last night has had his season tickets revoked.
He is now banned from Wells Fargo Center indefinitelypic.twitter.com/XyMRUxUVwc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 27, 2021
There was also an incident in Boston over the weekend, where a fan threw a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving — he was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Last week, a fan at Madison Square Garden was captured on camera spitting on Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young.
Brooks, a former NBA player himself, was on a tear about Monday’s incident while speaking with USA Today.
“It’s actually embarrassing for all those fans who do that. The NBA has great fans. I’ve played in Philadelphia. They have great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw popcorn. Boston has great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw a water bottle. New York has great fans. I played there. I played in Boston, but I got cut. … New York has great fans. One knucklehead decided to spit on somebody. We have great fans. One knucklehead tried to come into the arena, and it’s unacceptable. It’s not good,” Brooks said.
“Banning them and this and that. What does that mean?” he asked. “Is there facial recognition that you can’t get a ticket on the secondary market and don’t shave for a week and wear a hat and still come in. I don’t know if there’s criminal charges, but they’ve got to get something on their record, and they’ve got to get exposed and they have to pay money out of their own pocket.”
Brooks talked about attending games being “a privilege.”
“I know when I go to sporting events with my kids when they were young, I didn’t want hear people use foul language. It’s embarrassing, and we have to control that,” he said.
While acknowledging that there are “great fans,” Brooks said “one fan here and there ruins it for everyone.”
“There’s some that just need to, you know what, stay home. Your thinking is barbaric. Stay home. We don’t need you. We don’t need your dollars. Just stay home. Get away from us. Let the fans who enjoy it, let them be with their families enjoying it,” he said.
Wizards center Robin Lopez seemed to attribute the behavior to the pandemic.
“You can tell those people have been in some sort of captivity for the last year, year and change, right?” Lopez said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s kind of wild to see the liberties people are taking.”
Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers, also a former player, had this to say: “I don’t know what’s going on with these fans right now. We’ve just got to have safety.”
Rivers has been outspokenly supportive of the left’s social justice narrative while criticizing former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
“What stands out to me watching the Republican Convention is that they are spewing this fear,” he said last year. “All you hear, Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We are the ones getting killed. We are the ones getting shot. We are the ones denied [the right] to live in certain communities. We have been hung. We have been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear.”
“It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back,” Rivers added.
After last week’s popcorn incident, the National Basketball Players Association put out a statement calling on fans to “Respect our Players. Respect our Game.”
This from a league that refuses to respect millions of fans who don’t agree with their embrace of a far-left agenda. Perhaps, the elitist million players have yet to grasp that respect is a two-way street.
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