While the 2021 NBA Playoffs are proving entertainment to millions, the league is dealing with in-arena issues that are not related to the basketball product. Within the last week, Celtics Kyrie Irving guard was nearly struck by a water bottle thrown by a fan, Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn dumped on his head, Jazz fans made racist comments to Ja Morant’s family, and Hawks guard Trae Young was spit on by a fan in New York. On Monday, yet another incident occurred during the third quarter of Game 4 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards.
With 3:40 remaining in the third quarter, play was stopped during live action as a fan attempted to charge the floor (and touch the backboard) before being tackled by security.
Fan on the floor in Washington – It's like a contest to see what fan can do the dumbest thing now pic.twitter.com/cKR8FfYrk1
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 1, 2021
The reverse angle shows him jumping at the backboard for some reason before he gets form tackled by the officer on the baseline.
A fan in the upper deck caught the moment he darted from the stands off to the side onto the court, meeting little deterrent until he finally got tackled.
— Jeremy Christopher (@Jeromice12) June 1, 2021
The fan was quickly removed from the area.
And, from there, he was seen being arrested in short order in the tunnel.
The TNT broadcast made sure to pivot away from showing the fan on camera, following the precedent shown by broadcast networks over decades as to not provide spotlight for these individuals. Still, this is a troubling scene, and it is a good thing that the local security personnel were able to prevent a potential disaster. It remains to be seen as to whether the NBA will implement any further measures with this recent uptick in ugly fan behavior, but it is a storyline that no one in the league can be thrilled with as the postseason continues.
UPDATE: The fan has been banned from the arena and charges are being pursued by the Washington D.C. police.
During this evening's game, a fan was apprehended by Capital One Arena Special Police after attempting to breach the court. He will be banned from the arena and charges are being pursued with DC MPD.
— Monumental Sports & Entertainment (@MSE) June 1, 2021