Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic made the headlines earlier this week for confronting a fan, saying a few words right in his face while grabbing then tossing his phone away. Nurkic's latter antics were the ones that raised spectators' eyebrows as it was seemingly uncalled for. However, it has been revealed that the fan may have said something that deserved that kind of treatment.
What triggered Nurkic?
According to Yahoo Sports reporter Chris Haynes, the Pacers fan dissed Nurkic's mother and grandmother. Nurkic's grandmother was one of the fatalities of the Covid-19 in 2020. It's still unknown if the fan knew of this. This might be a case of a generic diss aimed at someone. Unfortunately for a fan, it hit Nurkic right in the heart.
The league quickly slapped the Bosnian big man with a hefty $40,000 fine. Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who also had a confrontation with a fan earlier this week, was fined $25,000. In their game against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, Durant told a heckler to "shut the f*** up and sit down." Reports deem that Nurkic grabbed the fan's phone and threw it away, making his fine a lot heftier.
What will happen to the fan?
As of this writing, the NBA has yet to announce what type of sanction they'll slap the fan with. Will they ban him from NBA forever? Will they cancel his season tickets (if he has one)? This is still a matter of wait-and-see. Perhaps the good thing is, we know that the NBA deals with such issues seriously. They have indefinitely banned several fans from NBA games for uttering racist taunts at NBA players.
Whatever the case is, we can add this to the numerous instances of fans behaving inappropriately. This season, the Los Angeles Lakers — particularly Russell Westbrook — have been on the receiving end of nasty comments from haters. Namecalling is just the first phase. Westbrook's wife, Nina, revealed that they had received death threats as well. Westbrook's family does not even want to attend home games for fear of getting their last name mangled by hecklers.
This should serve as another stern warning, especially for fans. We can admire their dedication and loyalty to their team. It is so strong they do not fear pissing off a seven-footer who can easily squish them with one hand. But these fans need to put things in order. They pay good money to watch games live. And one can enjoy the game simply by sitting back and bearing witness to amazing athletic feats. It does not need to involve talking trash.