Philadelphia sports fans have a certain reputation.
So when a 76ers fan dumped popcorn on an injured Russell Westbrook on Wednesday — let's just say the sports world wasn't shocked.
Tobias Harris has been on both side of the Philadelphia fan experience. Before joining the 76ers, he was a visiting player in Philadelphia as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers.
Now he's in his third season with the 76ers, playing a key role on a playoff team with championship aspirations. So when the postseason conversation turns into a discussion about a Philadelphia fan behaving badly, Harris is disappointed.
“Obviously, it being our fanbase, it’s one of those things, you’re like dang — why’d it have to be somebody in our fanbase?" Harris told Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill on Thursday.
'If Russell Westbrook ran up into those stands ...'
The 76ers announced on Thursday that they'd revoked the offending fan's season tickets. Harris agrees with the decision and asked what would happen to Westbrook if he'd retaliated.
"I think they should know better," Harris said of fans. "If Russell Westbrook ran up in those stands, he’d probably be out of the NBA. ... "I don’t know if it should be one year, a lifetime [ban] — but there has to be repercussions."
Bad behavior taints return of fans
With the return of NBA fans en masse has come almost immediately the return of high-profile unruly behavior in the stands. Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young was the target of "F*** Trae Young" chants at Madison Square Garden during Game 1 against the New York Knicks. During Wednesday's Game 2, he was the target of somebody's spit.
Like the offending 76ers fan, that Knicks fan has been banned from the premises.
It's not a great look for fans after more than a year largely away from NBA stadiums. Are Wednesday's episodes isolated incidents or signs of things to come as the playoff stakes ratchet up?
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