The NBA can do something about it only after the damage is done. But Charles Barkley advocates a different way of dealing with disrespectful NBA fans.
After last week’s incidents which resulted in multiple fans being banned for life, a streak of fans taking it too far continued yesterday, when an individual at TD Garden threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving on his way to the locker room. The fan received a lifetime ban, eliciting outrage from the rest of the NBA community, most notably Kevin Durant.
We are not animals; we are not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So, have some respect for the game. Have some respect for the human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players, or tossing popcorn. So, grow the f— up, and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.Kevin Durant, ESPN
KD summed it up perfectly. It’s time to remove disprespectful individuals from NBA arenas. But how? The league is doing a good job of reacting once incidents like these occur. However, judging by last week alone, just banning fans isn’t doing the trick. That’s why Chuck suggested a rule change.
Y’all guys always get mad when I say what NBA rule I would change. I think you should be able to go up in the stands and beat the hell out of one person per game.Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA
This came after a Sixers fan threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook as he was exiting the floor, which earned him a lifetime ban from Wells Fargo Center. But that obviously hasn’t resonated enough within the NBA community — hence yesterday’s event at TD Garden. According to Barkley, letting players deal with it is the only way to stop disrespectful individuals in the stands. That’s why he continued lobbying for such a rule change following the water bottle incident.
We saw what happens when NBA players decide to take matters into their own hands. It’s called “The Malice at the Palice,” and just like recent fans incidents, there should be no place for it in NBA arenas.
But you get where Barkley is coming from. His suggestion is indirectly along the lines of what Kyrie said after the game when he blasted fans for treating players like ‘they’re in a human zoo.’ What Chuck is proposing is for players to have the opportunity to treat such fans the same way.
It’s not something that will ever come to life, but the fact it’s being suggested indicates how bad fans’ behavior has got.