Devin Booker found his man. Booker, the Phoenix Suns' All-Star guard, tweeted Monday that he wanted to know the identity of the Suns fan who was recorded punching a Denver Nuggets fan several times in the closing minutes of the Suns' Game 3 win in Denver on Friday -- and then declaring "Suns in 4!" as the Denver supporter and his friend retreated.
It didn't take long for Booker's representatives at CAA to find Nick McKellar, a lifelong Suns fan who now lives in Denver. Booker and the Suns are going to send McKellar a signed Booker jersey and provide him tickets to a conference finals game, both Booker's reps at CAA and McKellar told ESPN.
Kenyon Martin: Unfortunately, the possibility of something like that happening is staring the NBA right in the face. And the league needs to take swift and decisive action to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. At some point, the league is going to have to consider banning fans from attendance as a punishment for misconduct. It’s the only way to nip all this craziness in the bud. Talk is one thing. Physicality is something completely different. And things have been getting a little too physical lately.
Kenyon Martin: That’s part of the problem, though. A lot of fans today want to get you to react. That’s why they’re taking it to the next level. So the league needs to follow suit and take a heavy-handed approach to these incidents involving fans, because if they don’t, something crazy is going to happen again. And this time, it’ll be the NBA’s fault.
Kenyon Martin: Sure, the league could continue to just ban the individual fans who commit the act, but really and truly, how enforceable are those bans? You don’t have to show any ID to get into an arena, and last time I checked, anyone can buy a ticket online. Unless the league is using facial recognition software or checking IDs of every fan entering the building — like at an airport — it’s probably pretty easy for a fan whose been banned to continue attending games. So yea, ban everybody.
Kenyon Martin: The NBA is a business, I get it, but over the past couple weeks, we’ve seen fans get more and more brazen in their verbal and in some cases physical attacks on players. The league revised its code of conduct for fans and more are being prosecuted for their behavior, but at the end of the day, there’s really not much that can be done to completely eliminate these threats. If the league were to institute the all-out ban policy, I guarantee you that after the first or second time, the fans would all fall in line.
NBA fans gotta keep the water bottles, spit and popcorn to themselves ... so says NFL tight end Gerald Everett, who tells TMZ Sports the wild spectators need to cut the crap and keep sports a peaceful place for everyone. There have been several instances of fans crossing the line at NBA games over the past week -- with superstars like Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook having objects -- or liquids -- hurled in their direction.
"Man, we just gotta realize that it's a team sport," Everett told us at LAX. "We're doing it to bring everybody together and it's just like a crazy time right now -- coronavirus and everybody's still tryna make it through." "Sports is the only thing we have left so we have to use that as a key element to bringing people back together."
Geoff Calkins: Ja Morant on the warm reception from the Utah organization and fans tonight: “For them to show the love they did on this trip sits in a special place in me and my family’s heart.”
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA informed teams of new measures regarding fan misconduct, such as: - In addition to bans, teams/arenas encouraged to develop processes for pursuing law violations - Code of Conduct announcement to be made 3 times during games - Enhanced arena security deployment
Michael Singer: Michael Malone on the numerous fan incidents: “People are acting a fool. .... Keep your ass in the seats.” Said playoffs are the best time of the year.
Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens on bottle throw at Kyrie: "It's not the way 99.9% of the people want to be represented. Just like a lot of these incidents happening across the league, I understand that fans can bring a great deal of passion, but it's gotta be in the confines of being respectful."
A fan was tackled after running onto the court during an NBA playoff game between the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, the latest example of unruly behavior as teams let more spectators in the stands during the pandemic. “You can tell those people have been in some sort of captivity for the last year, year and change, right?” Wizards center Robin Lopez said. “It’s kind of wild to see the liberties people are taking.”
The fan was escorted away from the court and play resumed after a brief interruption. “I don’t know what he was trying to do,” Washington forward Rui Hachimura said. “I think they're just excited to come back. But they’ve got to be more respectful of us as players. They think they can do whatever they want."
Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks is old-school NBA. Mainly because Brooks had to work hard – and then work some more – to get everything he earned during his NBA career as a player. It wasn’t surprising Brooks delivered a scathing five-minute old-school rebuke of the fan who ran onto the court during the third quarter of Game 4 between Washington and Philadelphia on Monday. “But it’s unfortunate one fan here and there, it ruins it for everyone,” Brooks said. “There’s great fans in Boston and New York and Philly and DC, Utah. But 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.”
“Banning them and this and that,” he said. “What does that mean? 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.”
David Aldridge: I asked Bradley Beal if he felt any less safe of late given the rash of fan-player incidents. He said no, saying he trusts security-while also pointing out that fans normally don’t confront players directly. "I don’t want to use my hood slang, but these hands work," he said.
“That was just some [expletive] [expletive] and that was it,” said Tobias Harris. “I don’t know what you really want the NBA to do.People have been stuck in the house for a long time, social media is a big thing so everybody wants clout somewhere so he got 15 seconds of fame. That was it really.”
Stefan Bondy: Immanuel Quickley said a beer was thrown at him in Game 2 at MSG. “Not sure why, not even sure who did it, but it happened. I guess that’s part of having fans in the game.”
On the same night a fan spit on Trae Young at the Garden last Wednesday, Knicks rookie guard Immanuel Quickley was doused by beer. A Garden fan who allegedly threw a beer toward the Knicks bench last week has been permanently banned from the arena, The Post has learned.
Following the incident, Irving said players can be treated like they’re in “a human zoo.” He also condemned the fan’s actions. “Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much,” said Irving. “You see people just feel very entitled out here. ... As a Black man playing in the NBA, dealing with a lot of this stuff, it’s fairly difficult. You never know what’s going to happen.”
The Celtics fan who allegedly threw a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who used to play for Boston, was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, according to a report.
Boston Police sergeant detective John Boyle told USA TODAY Sports in a phone call that the suspect apprehended for the alleged incident, Cole Buckley of Braintree, Massachusetts, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court. The fan is also subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden in Boston. The arrest took place at 9:46 p.m. ET.
Jared Weiss: Jayson Tatum: “18,000 people in the building, I guess in every arena there are a few bad seeds. I don’t want that to overshadow the rest of the fans who came and supported us tonight…but obviously there is no place in the NBA for throwing anything at a player.”
Jay King: Tatum said he has not seen the video of Kyrie Irving stomping on the Cs logo. He didn’t expand beyond that. Said he heard about the fan throwing a water bottle at Kyrie. Said there are a few bad seeds in any arena, but also said there’s no place in the NBA for anything like that.
Shams Charania: A fan in Boston has been arrested and banned for life from TD Garden for throwing a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving in postgame tunnel tonight.
Tim Bontemps: A league source confirms to ESPN that the fan who allegedly threw the water bottle at Kyrie Irving has been arrested.
A fan threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving as he and his teammates were exiting the game. They were not thrilled about it.
A Celtics fan at TD Garden threw a water bottle at Irving as he walked up the tunnel to the locker room Sunday after scoring 39 points to lead the Nets to a 141-126 rout of Boston in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. “It’s unfortunate that sports has come to this kind of crossroads,” Irving said, “where you are seeing old ways come up … underlying racism and treating people like they are in a human zoo.”
“Anything could’ve happened with that water bottle being thrown at me,” Irving said. “But my brothers were surrounding me and I had people in the crowd. Just trying to get home to my wife and my kids.” It is not known if the arrested fan was intoxicated. “That’s just what sports is: You mix drunk people out in the crowd that are cheering for the team,” Irving said. “You have some fans that are there to watch the quality of the game. Now we don’t know who is who.”
“Fans got to grow up at some point,” Nets star Kevin Durant said. “I know being in the house for 1 ½ years has a lot of people on edge and a lot of people stressed out. But when you come to a game you have to realize these men are human. We are not animals in a circus.
Damian Lillard: It’s happening every game. They not gone be happy til they do it to the wrong guy and get what they want
“From my understanding the culprit was taken care of very quickly,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “We’re glad that was taken care of. Unfortunately, one bad seed doesn’t mean that the whole fruit is poisonous. Our fans have been great. We just had a knucklehead decide to do something knuckleheadish.”
July 1, 2022 | 11:32 pm EDT Update
Justin Jackson scored 26 points, Langston Galloway added 18 and the U.S. men’s basketball team took another step toward qualifying for next year’s World Cup by topping Puerto Rico 83-75 on Friday night. John Jenkins scored 13 for the Americans, who improved to 4-1 in World Cup qualifying from the FIBA Americas region.
Tim Reynolds: Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado after Puerto Rico lost to the USA tonight: “Regardless of the outcome, this is a special moment in my life, for my family and the guys that have the jersey on with me. We’re making memories, we’re growing together and we’ve got a country on our side.”
Jim Owczarski: #Bucks video coordinator Nick Kellogg announced he’s headed to Columbus, Ohio to work as a special asst. with Chris Holtmann on the Ohio State #Buckeyes staff. Mike Budenholzer’s coaching & support staff continues to undergo changes this offseason.
July 1, 2022 | 10:15 pm EDT Update
In his first national team appearance in six years, and first game in his hometown since high school, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 of his 32 points in a dominant third quarter, leading Canada to a 95-75 victory over the Dominican Republic in World Cup qualifying.
Nick Nurse started his four NBA players Friday: Gilgeous-Alexander, who received loud applause from his hometown crowd at what used to be Copps Coliseum, Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Utah Jazz), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), and Olynyk (Detroit Pistons), plus national team mainstay Melvin Ejim.