The kid who stupidly ran on the court towards LeBron James when the Heat were in Cleveland during the 2012-13 season to show off a homemade white t-shirt with “We want LeBron in 2014” scribbled in black magic marker, was smartly banned from ever attending a Cavs game at Quicken Loans Arena ever again. Now that James is indeed returning home, the ban has been lifted and James Blair can return to The Q.
Here’s the incident in question, and we can still remember how shook a lot of people were that a fan could get on the court so easily.
After the incident, Blair — now dubbed a LeBron super fan, though we’d go with the moniker, creepy stalker guy — even flew down to Miami so he could party with the Heat after their championship win in 2013. It led to a chance encounter with the King himself, who now follows Blair on Twitter:
The next few moments will come together like a perfect pick-and-roll. Floss directs LeBron’s gaze to the dance floor, where Blair is waving. LeBron smiles and salutes Blair. For the first time, they share a private moment. (LeBron will later recall that night and tell Sports Illustrated, “Yeah, that’s James Blair, he’s my guy.”)
Blair smiles back, and those Coronas taste just a little bit better the rest of the night. “After the incident in Cleveland, a bunch of people — haters and the naysayers that just always want to talk crap — were like, ‘Oh, he’ll never even remember who you were after that,'” Blair says with a grin. “So the fact that he still remembered my face and knew who I was and could point me out was like, ‘Wow, he knows who I am now.'”
As for the lifted ban, Blair tweeted as much a couple days ago:
The veracity of the tweet was still in question until it was confirmed by the Cavs communication staff when a writer for Fear The Sword reached out to them:
In July, ABC News 5 confirmed the Cavs had reached out to Blair about his lifetime ban from The Q.
We’re not very happy with this turn of events for a few different reasons, which we’ll list below, and Fansided’s Factory of Sadness also does a good job explaining why this is such a bad idea.
One, it sets a bad precedent. If fans aren’t severely punished for rushing the court, it’ll open up the floodgates for others to follow suit. In this day and age with the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, players leave town all the time, with fans crushed by the exodus of their favorite player. This could definitely happen again in a different city with a different fan who might actually turn violent, God forbid.
In fact, a fan did the same thing again in Cleveland this past year while rocking a similar homemade t-shirt to urge Kyrie Irving to stay. If that’s not an indication Blair’s actions should continue to be punished, then we’re at a loss.
Thankfully, again, no one was hurt when the Kyrie fan made his way to the hardwood last season, but Blair’s initial decision to rush onto an NBA court while the game was going on has obviously already affected other fans looking to make a name for themselves.
Kyrie signed an extension with the Cavs this summer, but fans who break protocol and go on the court should not be given leniency, even if they’re just young, dumb teenagers — i.e. James Blair.
Two, what does this say about the Cavs organization that they’d allow a fan who purposely sneaked past (we’re guessing lax) security to take the court in an attempt to have their sophomoric message heard? Blair has become a minor celebrity, and with the ban lifting, it could mean other copycats will try and get their name out there like Blair (witness that ESPN the Magazine piece for all the spoils that come with being such a big dolt). This comes after a copycat already successfully rushed the court the very next season!
Three, Blair, despite being just a vapid kid — who dreams of stardom like all immature kids — now has a larger spotlight, especially when he steps back in the arena he was rightfully banned from. And it’s not like he’s the best role model for others:
Listen, it doesn’t matter that LeBron is returning home, or that he’s apparently cool with Blair. Likewise with Kyrie Irving; hopefully the fan who rushed Kyrie is still barred from ever going back to the arena.
This isn’t a local high school game, this is the NBA. Rules limiting fan’s access to the court have been put in place for the security of the players and the other fans. It’s not like security can just pick and choose who is an imminent threat and who isn’t. The fact that Blair is now a celebrity AND is allowed back in the arena just makes it that much harder for the good people who patrol NBA arenas to try and keep everyone safe.
Stupidity on this level should never be forgotten and certainly not forgiven less than two years after the bone-headed kid was put on display. It’s bad enough he’s become a celebrity, but the Cavs are compounding that by letting him back in the arena.
There are thousands of more deserving fans who didn’t rush the court, and who can’t afford to attend the games this season with the prices skyrocketing after James’ announcement. Give them some free tickets and let Blair watch at home like everyone else. To now reward him tacitly acknowledges this sort of behavior is somehow OK.
It’s not, and hopefully this doesn’t embolden even more fans to try the same thing in a juvenile attempt to become well known.
What do you think?
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