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ESPN Staff Writer
- Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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A fan ran onto the court and jumped up and touched the backboard during game play at Capital One Arena in the Philadelphia 76ers-Washington Wizards playoff game Monday night.
The fan was at the Wizards’ basket as they came down on offense before referees noticed the man and stopped the game with three minutes to play in the third quarter. The fan was quickly tackled by a security guard and pulled off the floor before being handcuffed by police.
Video footage showed the fan ran full speed down from the main grandstand past several rows of courtside seats and onto the floor within a matter of seconds. He didn’t make contact or come close to any player as he headed straight for the basket.
“This is not a game or some s— you can just do whatever you want to do and run around,” Wizards guard Russell Westbrook said after Washington’s 122-114 win. “This is our job, and we take our job very seriously.”
Said Wizards guard Bradley Beal: “There’s no place in the game for it.”
Monumental Sports, the parent company of the Wizards and the arena, released a statement saying the fan would be banned and it would look to press charges.
“They have no fear,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I don’t know the law. But I just know you shouldn’t be able to do that and get away with it and just be kicked out because we all know you can dress different and look different and get into an arena.”
It is another example of fan misbehavior over the past week. In Philadelphia, a fan threw popcorn at Westbrook and was banned from the arena. In New York, a fan spit on Trae Young and was also banned. In Utah, fans who made vulgar and racist remarks to the family of Ja Morant were banned. And in Boston, a fan was arrested after throwing a bottle of water apparently at Kyrie Irving’s head.
“It’s unfortunate that one fan, here and there, it ruined it for everyone,” Brooks said. “There are great fans in Boston, New York, Philly, D.C., Utah. But there are some that need to just know, you know what? Stay home. Your thinking is barbaric.”