A fan at Game 4 of the Philadelphia-Washington playoff series walked onto the pitch in the Wizards’ Capital One Arena and was attacked by a security guard in the third quarter with 3:40 to go.
“During tonight’s game, a fan was arrested by the Capital One Arena Special Police after trying to break through the court.
Philadelphia’s Seth Curry narrowly missed a threesome and Washington’s Rui Hachimura grabbed the rebound and gave Raul Neto an outlet pass. As the game moved to the other end of the pitch, a referee stopped action when he saw the security guard grab the person right near Washington’s basket.
While a fan running onto the pitch is not an uncommon sight, it is rare at an NBA game.
It’s another incident in a series of inappropriate fan behavior at NBA playoff games over the past week.
A fan at the Boston-Brooklyn game at the Celtics’ TD Garden on Sunday threw a plastic water bottle at Kyrie Irving when Nets players left the pitch after Brooklyn’s victory The person who allegedly threw a water bottle at Irving who used to play for Boston was arrested and charged with assault and assault with a lethal weapon, according to a report.
Boston Police Sergeant Detective John Boyle told USA TODAY Sports on a phone call that the suspect arrested for the alleged incident, Cole Buckley of Braintree, Massachusetts, is due to be tried in Boston City Court on Tuesday. The fan is also on a lifetime ban from TD Garden in Boston.
Last week, fans were banned or indefinitely banned from arenas for the following reasons:
The NBA released a statement Thursday warning that an improved code of conduct for fans “will be vigorously enforced to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all concerned”.
“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought great excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is important that we all show respect for players, officials and our fellow fans,” the NBA said.
The NBA also directed fans to their Fan Code of Conduct page.
The National Basketball Players Association also released a statement:
“Real fans of this game honor and respect the dignity of our players,” said the players’ union. “No real fan would try to harm them or invade their privacy. Those who have no place in our arenas. And their behavior is appropriately assessed by law enforcement agencies as if it happened on a public street. “
Contributor: Lorenzo Reyes