Metta World Peace, who has his own history with NBA fans, suggests a new solution to recent fan behavior.
When I first started covering the NBA in 2009, I expected the negativity that greets every player who steps foot on the court would only intensify with time. I was wrong. The hatred and calls for players to be traded or fired have been constant since I started covering the league, yet somehow the behavior of fans has gone from calling players names to throwing objects at them.
The hottest topic in sports right now – if you don’t count the Boston Celtics – is the behavior of NBA fans during the playoffs. Only now are teams inviting more and more fans into arenas, but there have been several cases of spectators mistreating and potentially endangering NBA players. If anyone knows how tough fans can be, it’s former Defensive Player of the Year Metta World Peace, also known as Ron Artest or Metta Sandiford-Artest. In fact, he recently reacted strongly to the behavior of the fans lately.
NBA fans behaved irresponsibly during the playoffs
. In a normal year – before COVID-19 – there seemed to be only a few skirmishes between fans and players during the postseason. However, this year there were several incidents in the first round. A fan threw popcorn at Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook, prompting the Philadelphia 76ers to indefinitely ban the man from all events at the Wells Fargo Center. On the other hand, Atlanta Hawks quarterback Trey Young was spit on during a game against the New York Knicks, and that spectator also received a suspension, but already for events at Madison Square Garden. This is in addition to at least three other incidents: The Utah Jazz have suspended three fans for making vulgar and racist comments about Ja Morant’s family, and police have arrested a Celtics fan for throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving’s head. Finally, another fan walked onto the field during the Wizards-76ers game. All of these incidents, one after another, are troubling because players – or even supporters themselves – can be injured. World Peace was one of many people who made sarcastic comments about recent events.
Metta World has responded strongly to recent events
Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers at the media day on the 28th. September 2015. | Leon Bennett/Getty Images World Peace, who has had a run-in with NBA fans in the past, recently appeared on The Rich Eisen Show The Rich Eisen Show, and offered an interesting solution to the NBA’s current problem with its fans. The water bottle and spitting is too much, and if it gets that far, fans will probably have to see a therapist before coming to a playoff game. … Perhaps we now need evidence of a therapy session, World Peace said in the episode of 1. June. World Peace then wanted to make it clear that people who behave irresponsibly are not real fans. It’s not the fans, it’s the people, some people, he said. When it comes to fans, fans are a positive thing. You’re not a fan if you do that. You’re just a man who does bad things. So we should stop with the fan story. The fans are on a roll right now, we’re in the playoffs. They’re two different kinds of people. So I think we need to make sure that we protect the players from a certain type of person. There is no need to protect the players from the fans.
Metta World understands how difficult it is to communicate with NBA fans
. Whether you call them fans or not, World Peace knows a thing or two about dealing with fans at NBA games. In 2004, Mir, who played for the Indiana Pacers and was then named Ron Artest, punched a fan in a crowd of Detroit Pistons players at Auburn Hills Palace after being hit with a beer mug. According to USA Today, the NBA then suspended World Peace for 86 games, an incident that became infamous as Palace Villainy. The former NBA star told Eisen that he discussed everything with that fan at the time. We have a good relationship, he said. I contacted him because I had a problem with him personally; I had no problem with anyone else. So I contacted them, fixed the problem and that was that. We had a very good conversation. He told me why he did it: It was a gamble. He explained why and that was the end of the story. He apologized, and we moved on. Whatever happens in the playoffs, let’s hope nothing gets out of hand like it did in Detroit and no one gets hurt. COMPARED TO: CC Sabathia condemns inappropriate supporter behaviour in sports, says beer was once poured over his wife and mother: It sucks
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