Fans have been implored time and time again to be on their best behavior when they are at an NBA game but many fail to adhere to instructions. Over time fans have gotten overzealous and caused commotions in basketball games, with the most obvious being the Malice at the Palace.
On Sunday night, the Memphis Grizzlies hosted the Sacramento Kings and a heckler, who was sitting courtside, was escorted out of the arena because he made inappropriate comments directed at Tristan Thompson. According to Grizzlies writer Drew Hill:
"Per multiple people around the fan that was thrown out of the Grizzlies game tonight, he was tossed because he was making comments about the Kardashian family in the direction of Tristan Thompson."
In the post-game presser, Kings' interim head coach Alvin Gentry also commented on the incident (3:10).
“I don’t think it needs to be talked about or anything, but obviously it’s not anything that I’m going to tolerate people saying to my players—I know that—not without intervening and asking them to be removed. They can say anything they want to me or they can boo and do everything they want with the players, but there’s no room for saying inappropriate things in a sporting event. That’s not why you’re there.”
It is understandable to want to get into a player's head, especially when they are hot, but making inappropriate comments is never welcome. Just last week, LeBron James made sure two fans were tossed at Gainbridge Fieldhouse when the Indiana Pacers hosted the Los Angeles Lakers. Speaking on the issue, James said the fans used "obscene words and gestures that should not be tolerated in our game."
The Grizzlies ended up winning the matchup against the short-handed Kings 128-101. Thompson registered 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Thompson was a member of the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers team that overturned a 3-1 deficit over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. He played for one season in Boston with the Celtics before he was traded to the Kings in the 2021 offseason.