Wizards react to fan rushing the court in Game 4: 'Stay home. We don't need you.'


The Washington Wizards have been a part of a growing wave of fan incidents in the NBA Playoffs.

That negative trend continued Monday night, during the third quarter of Game 4 between the Wizards and 76ers, when a fan attempted to rush the court, only to be thwarted by a Capital One Arena security guard before he could make contact with any of the players.

The charging fan was apprehended and arrested by police.

It's the second such instance in this series alone of a fan interacting with players. In Game 2, a Philly fan dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook as he exited the court with an injury, prompting the Wizards guard to call on the NBA to protect its players, suggesting it institute some sort of penalty for the home team.

That fan's since been banned from Philly's Wells Fargo Center.

Elsewhere in the league, a Celtics fan struck Kyrie Irving with a plastic water bottle following the Nets' Game 4 win in Boston. And in New York last week, a fan even appeared to spit on Hawks guard Trae Young.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals and Wizards, reacted to Monday's incident by banning the fan from Capital One Arena, releasing the following statement after Game 4: " Monumental Sports & Entertainment has a zero tolerance policy when fans violate our code of conduct at Capital One Arena.

"During this evening's game, a fan was apprehended by Capital One Arena Special Police after attempting to breach the court. He will be banned from the arena and charges are being pursued with DC MPD."

Wizards coach Scott Brooks strongly condemned this recent spate of fan behavior after Washington's Game 4 victory, saying, in part (according to USA TODAY), "It's unfortunate one fan here and there, it ruins it for everyone."

"There's great fans in Boston and New York and Philly and DC, Utah," he said. "But there's some that just need to, you know what, stay home. Your thinking is barbaric. Stay home. We don't need you. We don't need your dollars. Just stay home. Get away from us."

Brooks said it's embarrassing that fans would try to cross that line, putting players in the uncomfortable position of possibly having to defend themselves.

"Banning them and this and that. What does that mean?" he went on to say. "Is there facial recognition that you can't get a ticket on the secondary market and don't shave for a week and wear a hat and still come in. I don't know if there’s criminal charges, but they've got to get something on their record, and they've got to get exposed and they have to pay money out of their own pocket."

"Athletes in the same situation, if Russell had thrown popcorn on somebody, trust me, there would've been a major lawsuit that a guy can't see," he continued. "Broke his neck because the popcorn hit him. All these athletes have to defend themselves and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and get their name tarnished."

Wizards players reacted to Monday's fan incident as well, with Westbrook again pleading for fans to respect the athletes' space to do their jobs, and Bradley Beal suggesting if a fan charging the court ever attempted to approach him, he'd be ready with a proper response.

The Wizards head back to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Wednesday.