A fan at Game 4 of the Philadelphia-Washington playoff series at the Wizards’ Capital One Arena ran onto the court and was tackled by a security guard with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
“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,” the Wizards said in a statement.
Philadelphia’s Seth Curry had just missed a 3-pointer and Washington’s Rui Hachimura grabbed the rebound, delivering an outlet pass to Raul Neto. As the play went to the opposite end of the court, a referee stopped the action when he saw the security guard tackle the person right near Washington’s basket.
While a fan running onto the field of play isn’t an uncommon sight, it’s rare at an NBA game.
It’s another incident in a string of inappropriate fan behavior at NBA playoff games in the past week.
On Sunday, a fan at the Boston-Brooklyn game at the Celtics’ TD Garden threw a plastic water bottle at Kyrie Irving as Nets players left the court following Brooklyn’s victory. The person who allegedly threw water bottle at Irving, who used to play for Boston, was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, according to a report.
Boston Police sergeant detective John Boyle told USA TODAY Sports in a phone call that the suspect apprehended for the alleged incident, Cole Buckley of Braintree, Massachusetts, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court. The fan is also subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden in Boston.
Last week, fans were banned or indefinitely banned from arenas for:
The NBA released a statement Thursday that warned an enhanced fan code of conduct “will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved.”
“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought great excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is critical that we all show respect for players, officials and our fellow fans,” the NBA’s statement read.
The NBA also directed fans to its Fan Code of Conduct page.
The National Basketball Players Association also released a statement:
“True fans of this game honor and respect the dignity of our players,” the players’ union said. “No true fan would seek to harm them or violate their personal space. Those who do have no place in our arenas. And their conduct is appropriately evaluated by law enforcement just as if it occurred on a public street.”
Contributing: Lorenzo Reyes