Kevin Durant took to Twitter this morning to react to the news that the NBA would be cracking down on fan behavior. In the first few games of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, there have already been a few incidents of fan misconduct. On May 26, 2021, there were two major examples of poor fan behavior involving Russell Westbrook and Trae Young.
The first comes from game two of the bout between the Washington Wizards and the Philadelphia 76ers. The matter occurred after Russell Westbrook injured his ankle and was forced to leave the blowout loss early. A fan decided to pour his popcorn on Westbrook as he exited the court limping. Wells Fargo Arena security immediately ejected the fan after the incident. Also, the 76ers announced this morning that they would revoke the fan’s season tickets and have him banned from all future events.
Later that same evening, another fan made a fool of himself in game two of the series between the Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks. Early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s playoff matchup, Trae Young was preparing to pass the ball in from the sideline when a fan in the second row spat on him while Young had his back turned. This morning, the New York Knicks organization banned the fan from Madison Square Garden indefinitely for his disgusting act. Trae Young has also recently announced that he declined to press charges.
Kevin Durant’s reaction to the matters and subsequent discipline is likely what most NBA players and fans alike are thinking. It is a great thing to see fans filling up NBA stands again. In addition, fans are welcome to cheer, boo, and yell all they want. Cheers like Knicks fans’ “Trae is balding” chant, while somewhat rude, is inconsequential. However, interacting with players in disgusting fashions like these instances is inexcusable and harms athletes’ and spectators’ experience.