The playoffs are getting real, and with all the pressure mounting on teams to win, the physicality has been a leading story through most semifinal games.
However, in the Phoenix Suns’ Game 4 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, the tension mounted in the stands, with the recipients of the enmity being none other than the family of star point guard Chris Paul.
A Dallas Mavericks fan reportedly harassed and physically pushed Paul’s family during the game. Once the fan crossed the line of civility, the Mavericks kicked the accused attendee out of the game.
Coming For The Paul Family
“The Dallas Mavericks are aware of an incident between a fan and the family of Chris Paul,” the team said in a statement. “It was unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. The Mavericks, along with American Airlines Center, swiftly removed the fan from today’s game.”
Paul, beleaguered by foul trouble for the entirety of the game, picked up his fourth foul close to halftime and eventually his fifth with only 9:32 left in the third quarter.
After receiving his sixth foul, with only nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Paul engaged security on the sidelines, motioning towards his family after fouling out. You could make out him saying, “he put his hands on my mom.”
An Escalating Problem
The negative interactions between players and fans during road games for opposing teams have escalated recently. Although rivalries abound throughout the league as new stars are born and competitiveness flares, the interactions have become more personal and even physical.
During the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets first-round series, the commentary was as much around Kyrie Irving’s battle with the fans as the once anointed championship-bound team was swept. After being berated throughout games 1 and 2 at the TD Garden Arena in Beantown, Irving flipped fans the bird.
The league eventually fined Irving $50,000 for “making obscene gestures” and “directing profane language” toward the Boston fans.
The Reggie Miller Effect
Fast-forward to the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who has become the new equivalent of how the Indiana Pacers’ Reggie Miller was to the New York Knicks in the series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
A rough-and-tumble series that began with the first two games in Memphis saw Green receive all the hate from the crowd, even through injuries that sent him back to the locker room with a bloodied eye in Game 2.
Green took an elbow to the eye from Xavier Tillman, and after hearing the boos of the crowd, he delivered two middle fingers on his way off the court.
The league fined Green $25,000 for the incident.
To read more about the young fan attacking Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul’s family in the stands at an NBA playoff game, click here.