When the second edition of Malice at the Palace finally comes out, I don’t want to see or hear NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
There will be no need for press conferences, public statements, suspensions or fines, all of which could have been avoided if the league had been proactive rather than reactive.
For far too long the NBA and its owners/governors have backed down and allowed fans to do and say whatever they want with the players, and thankfully cooler heads prevailed in Dallas on Sunday Chris Paul’s mother and wife were attacked – on Mother’s Day of all days.
“I want to punish players for saying stuff to fans, but fans can touch our families…fuck it!!” Paul tweeted on Sunday. The former NBA Players’ Association president was upset after his kids had to allegedly see their mother pushed and hands laid on their grandmother on the day to celebrate and appreciate mothers.
This happens all the time, and the league and these franchises do nothing but ban fans or release meaningless statements after the damage has already been done.
Here is the statement from the Mavericks:
“The Dallas Mavericks are aware of an incident between a fan and Chris Paul’s family. It was unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. The Mavericks, along with the American Airlines Center, quickly removed the fan from today’s game.” The team wrote.
That’s not good enough.
If the original malice in the palace took place in 2004, do you know who started it all?
Why do they Utah Jazz have a terrible reputation when it comes to how opposing players – such as Russell Westbrook, among others – are treated in their arena?
And if players like Kyrie Irving, Trae Young, Immanuel Quickley, and Westbrook spat on, doused with popcorn or pelted with bottles, who was to blame?
This is the same league in which Animal protesters were able to disrupt three of the Minnesota Timberwolves Games a few weeks ago trying to tape their hands to the pitch, chaining themselves to the basket support and trying to run onto the pitch. This stuff keeps happening at NBA games because the NBA allows it. If the League wanted to stop this, they would. Where are the fines and penalties for fans crossing the line? Where are the arrests? How come their names and background information aren’t blown up like when athletes get it wrong?
Every time this happens it feels like the solution is simple, but it’s never the one chosen. Aside from the need for more safety at matches to prevent these situations from taking place and escalating, I propose that whenever a player or his family is being harassed by fans, the home team should be awarded a technical foul that with two free fouls comes throws and loss of possession. I bet if the Mavericks fans had to watch their team get a tech followed by the Suns getting the ball after seeing their top free throw taker put 2 points on the scoreboard, people in the arena would start monitoring yourself.
To prove that the league and teams have allowed this behavior for too long, I bet you didn’t realize we were almost exactly 13 in the same position Years in Dallas when the Mavericks played the Denver Nuggets. In May 2009, in the exact same round of the playoffs, Mavericks became the owner Mark Cuban told the mother of Nuggets’ Kenyon Martin that her son was a bully at the end of Game 3. And in Game 4, Carmelo Anthony’s then-girlfriend and now-ex-wife La La Anthony and Martin’s ex-girlfriend, rap star Trina, were thrown ice and were at the end of racial slurs.
According to old site called MomlogicThat’s what Anthony said about how she was treated in the stands in Dallas.
“They started, ‘Fuck the nuggets!’ to scream. right in front of my son.” She then says they started calling the Nuggets players “n*****s.” She was shocked. “I’ve been to a lot of games – but I’ve NEVER heard fans say things like that.” Then Lala looks straight at her while taunting Anthony on the court and says the fans called her son a “bastard”.
“I know it was addressed to me. Yes, my son’s father and I aren’t married — but we’re engaged!” Addressing fans, Lala said, “It’s just a GAME! Do you even know these players?!” She then asked her babysitter to take Kiyan out of the arena. The fans, who Lala says were completely drunk at the time, became even more “aggressive,” shouting “F*** the Nuggets!” and insulting their families — namely, Lala says, her and Carmelo. Then they physically pushed her. Marginalized, she turned and yelled back.
TV cameras picked up security forces approaching her. “They said they saw everything and told me I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was NOT kicked out, they just escorted me to a suite [for safety]. I was mad!”
Nothing happened after that as no one was penalized. “matter is closed” According to reports, a spokesman for the league, Tim Frank said The Associated Press before Game 5 began in Denver. Five years after Malice at the Palace, the league faced another ugly situation with fans and chose to do nothing. And yet here we are, 13 years after what happened in Dallas, and in the middle of the second straight year where fan behavior has become a postseason subplot and the league does nothing but issue harsh press releases.
Someone gets knocked unconscious by one of these players for saying the wrong thing to them or molesting their family and I’m going to love it. And when that day happens, it will send a message fans can’t ignore: “Sit down and shut up!”