The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, restrictions are starting to loosen up, and we’re beginning to see stadiums fill up with enthusiastic fans once again. All excellent signs that point to this postseason feeling like normal once again in the NBA. That was until the other side, the vile side of fans, reared its ugly head.
Last night, in two separate games, a fan in Philadelphia dumped a whole bag of popcorn onto Russell Westbrook as he was exiting the court for the locker room during the Wizards blowout loss to the 76ers. And in New York, where I recently expressed my thoughts on how good it is to see fans back in the stadium, a man was caught, on camera, spitting on Trae Young during Game 2 in The Garden.
Stephen A.’s reaction in the video above is spot on. This same issue has been around sports for a very long time, and the NBA won’t miraculously find a solution overnight. But the idea about if the tables were turned, and Russ zoned in on that fan, or Trae turned around and touched that spitter, it would send this argument or debate into another whole stratosphere.
Could this be a result of NBA fans being restricted for such a long time without interactions with people, and now that the gates have swung wide open, there’s a level of sports fan etiquette that’s forgotten? But the bigger question is, with players trapped in how they can react, how does the NBA protect them from the wrongdoers?
Catch you Monday.