The NBA reportedly is investigating an incident involving New Orleans Pelicans beleaguered forward Anthony Davis, who is shown on an Instagram video giving the middle finger to a fan as he walks off the court after Wednesday night’s home loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
According to NOLA.com, a fan at Smoothie King Arena shouted “F—- you, AD,” which caused him to flip off the disgruntled spectator.
Davis, who requested a trade from the Pelicans before the February trade deadline, pointed out that his gesture was not directed at the team or the city of New Orleans.
“Never disrespected the city and never will,” Davis said on the Instagram account Pelicans Wave. “But of course they not gonna show what the fan said.”
The Pelicans security team was near Davis and the team reportedly is cooperating with league officials regarding the incident. Without Davis in the lineup since March 24 (lower back spasms), the Pelicans continue to struggle and dropped to 32-47 with the 115-109 loss to the Hornets.
Several problems with fans have occurred during this NBA season, including one in which a spectator engaged in “inappropriate interaction” with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during a March game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.
Shane Keisel, who publicly revealed he was the fan involved, was permanently banned by the club from attending any events at the arena.
Westbrook said after the contest that he was the victim of a disrespectful comment that he took as a racial barb. Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”
The Jazz said they conducted an investigation through video and eyewitness accounts and Keisel’s ban is based on “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player” that serves as a violation of the NBA Code of Conduct.
Also in March, New York Knicks owner James Dolan called a confrontation with a fan an “ambush,” and banned the heckling spectator from Madison Square Garden. In January, the Dallas Mavericks banned a fan for the rest of the season after an investigation reportedly showed he behaved inappropriately toward guard Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers.
—Field Level Media