Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks is old-school NBA. Mainly because Brooks had to work hard – and then work some more – to get everything he earned during his NBA career as a player.
It wasn’t surprising Brooks delivered a scathing five-minute old-school rebuke of the fan who ran onto the court during the third quarter of Game 4 between Washington and Philadelphia on Monday.
“But it’s unfortunate one fan here and there, it ruins it for everyone,” Brooks said. “There’s great fans in Boston and New York and Philly and DC, Utah. 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.”
The fan was tackled by arena security, and the Wizards said in a statement, “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.”
Brooks, who took off his mask to get what he had to say off his chest, even questioned how effective a ban can be.
“Banning them and this and that,” he said. “What does that mean? 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.”
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Here are Brooks’ full comments:
“It’s actually embarrassing for all those fans who do that. The NBA has great fans. I’ve played in Philadelphia. They have great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw popcorn. Boston has great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw a water bottle. New York has great fans. I played there. I played in Boston, but I got cut. … New York has greats fans. One knucklehead decided to spit on somebody. We have great fans. One knucklehead tried to come into the arena, and it’s unacceptable. It’s not good.
“Banning them and this and that. What does that mean? 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. 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.
“We love to be heckled. We love it.. I love it as a coach. I love it. As a player, I loved it when they heckled me for my two minutes. Russell, he loves to be heckled. But there’s crossing the line. I didn’t have a father, but my mom, she wouldn’t allow me to ever think about doing that. It’s a privilege. It’s a lot of money everybody pays. I know when I go to sporting events with my kids when they were young, I didn’t want hear people use foul language. It’s embarrassing, and we have to control that.
“But 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. 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. Let the fans who enjoy it, let them be with their families enjoying it.
“Cheer us on, heckle us, scream at us. Stay we stink and you’re 0-for-6, you’re our best player, keep doing that. We love that. I’m glad our building and our security … that was a great tackle. I don’t know if the football club needs it, but that was great. I loved that. Sometimes, I wish we could set screens like that. To me, that was first class in our building. I give these guys a lot of credit. They protect the fans, and they protect our players. I love that part it. But we’ve got to … these fans, think about it. It’s just been happening, and they have no fear. But they’ve got to start losing some of their money. Defend themselves in the courthouse, whatever. I don’t know the law. I just know you shouldn’t be able to do that and get away with it and get kicked out. Because we all know you can dress different and look different and get into an arena.
“That was a long answer, but I’m tired of it. We all deserve better. Kyrie’s right. These players play so hard, and it’s emotional and you love it when your players are so competitive and they’re on an edge. If your players aren’t on an edge, you have no chance to win. But when you’re on an edge and somebody crosses the line, what do you think is going to happen? I give all of our players (credit), all of them.
“There’s been only 5,000 NBA players in the history of the game and most of them can control themselves and sometimes I don’t know how. They never heckled me really. They just said a few minutes here and there because that’s all I played. Russell, I’ve been with him for eight years and what he has to listen to night in and night out, unacceptable. My mom, I know my mom, I would’ve had the nearest branch ripped off, and it would’ve been on my behind if I did something that stupid.”