Last season, Clippers guard Patrick Beverley got ejected and fined for throwing the ball at Mavericks fan Don Knobler. Knobler admitted to talking about Beverley’s mother. Beverley said Knobler used profanity. Knobler denied that.
The Mavericks investigated the December incident and banned Knobler the rest of the season.
When the Clippers returned to Dallas last night, Knobler was back.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
The NBA is cracking down on abusive fan behavior, including talking about players’ families. Many onlookers seem to welcome harsher punishment.
To them, Knobler’s attendance sparks a negative reaction. They don’t want to see him around.
But what is sufficient punishment? Should every fan who crosses the line receive a lifetime ban? Is there room for people to learn from their misdeeds? How can misbehaving fans show they’ll act differently?
These are the difficult questions the NBA should grapple with as it takes a new focus on fan conduct.
Of course, there are also other concerns – like the revenue drawn from a fan who buys courtside seats.