Just as NBA players are held to a standard of conduct, fans must also be respectful of one another and towards all league representatives both off and on the basketball floor.
At least that’s what one would assume after reading through the NBA Fan Code of Conduct.
Seemingly, a fan crossed this line late in Wednesday’s game featuring the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies, reportedly yelling expletives and displaying an obscene gesture in the direction of one of the league’s most controversial players. Her penalty — which could have amounted to ejection or something harsher like revocation of season tickets — was absolutely nothing. She was merely engaged by league security for a moment and then handed the following card.
The NBA isn’t having it this season.— Devin Walker (@Devin_Walker5) October 19, 2017
This is the card that was given to the Grizzlies fan for yelling at Pelicans Center DeMarcus Cousins. pic.twitter.com/RKbkAbgN1V
Sorry Devin, but the reaction by league representatives didn’t constitute, “isn’t having it this season.” Not in my eyes. What good does it do anyone to curb a patron’s behavior, just seconds from the end of the game and well after the damage was done?
Soon after Anthony Davis was fouled by Mike Conley with 50.0 seconds remaining in the game, one could distinctly make out a female voice yelling out several curse words. In replaying the incident several times on the Fox Sports New Orleans broadcast, I was able to decipher these classy remarks:
“... Asshole... Fuck you... Fuck you too.”
And it was immediately proceeded by an outburst of similar language, this time from a man — we can assume DeMarcus Cousins’ retaliation.
Should Boogie have responded? No, of course not, and he admitted as much in his postgame comments.
"That's pretty bogus, " Cousins said. "He (the referee) sat there and heard her speaking to me in a nasty way. I shouldn't have responded to it, but I'm a human being and I'm also a grown man and I'm not going to let another person just disrespect me. I feel like he (the referee) should have handled it, but he decided not to but he handled my end of it."
In no way shape or form should Cousins’ reaction have dismissed properly addressing the prior rude and insulting behavior by the unruly fan. Would security have been more apt to react appropriately had the comments come from a hulking man? Or, maybe additional action would have been utilized had a child been sitting close by and the parents complained?
Most interesting of all, there’s a chance that the whole scenario may have been preventable earlier in time. The lady’s voice was repeatedly discernible in the background of the broadcast throughout the vast majority of the second half. I’m not sure if any of the other utterances amounted to “abusive language”, but either security or the referees should have at least been aware of her presence. Multiple times she and her companion reacted with the most fervor in their area to calls against the Grizzlies. Plus, she was often vocal when the game wasn’t in the heat of the moment.
Wednesday’s opening night incident paved the way for Cousins first technical foul of the season and further perpetuated his unwanted villainous image. Boogie called it bogus and it’s practically impossible to disagree with the idea that he shouldn’t have been found the only guilty party.
Seriously, go listen to the tape yourselves and question some witnesses, NBA — before jumping to conclusions and making a rash determination on the sum of Cousins’ fine.