Cavaliers lift ban on fan who ran onto court with LeBron James shirt

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Last year, James Blair ran onto the court during a Cavaliers-Heat game in Cleveland and got LeBron James’ attention with a shirt that said “WE MISS YOU” on the front and “2014 COME BACK.”

The Cavaliers banned Blair indefinitely from their arena, though various outlets reported the punishment as between one year and permanently.

But like LeBron, Blair is back (hat tip: Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball):

If the Cavaliers intended to ban Blair for at least a year but not permanently, I don’t necessarily mind them reinstating him now. It’s been 18 months, and there’s an argument to be made he served a reasonable penalty.

HOWEVER, the NBA should examine whether the Cavaliers are doing enough to prevent this potentially dangerous behavior.

They’ve had a rash of these types of incidents lately. Is their security lacking? Do their punishments not effectively deter would-be court rushers?

The Cavaliers have lost the benefit of the doubt, and the NBA – which sends visiting teams to Cleveland 41 times per season – should not give the franchise carte blanche to handle these incidents on its own. As the Monica Seles stabbing showed, the stakes are too high.

Maybe Blair deserves a second chance, though it should have nothing to do with LeBron’s decision to sign with the Cavaliers. Those events should exist independently.

But, man, the Cavaliers are putting a lot of trust in someone who’s already acted like a clown once.