NBA needs to control rowdy fans or else I have to protect myself - Beverley
Houston Rockets forward Patrick Beverley is speaking out after he got into a heated argument with an Oklahoma City Thunder fan, urging the NBA to crack down on rowdy supporters.
Beverley was slapped with a $25,000 fine on Sunday after he went up to the fan, identified as the son of Thunder minority owner Jay Scaramucci, after Friday's 115-113 playoff loss in game three and got into a heated argument.
The Rockets star said he did not feel protected and felt the need to "address the situation before it gets out of hand".
"I'm OK with the hazing. I'm OK with the boos. I'm OK with other fans rooting for their team. But I'm not OK with the blatant disrespect while I'm on the ground after a foul and a fan is yelling out to me, 'F*** you Patrick Beverley, F*** you Patrick Beverley, F*** you Patrick Beverley,' and waving a clapper in my face," Beverley said.
"I'm not comfortable with that. So if the NBA won't protect the players in that situation, I feel the need as a man, as a grown man who has children, who has morals and who stands up for the right thing, I have to protect myself."
Beverley said he approached Stuart Scaramucci after the game to address a second-quarter incident, when during the second quarter, the former fell to the court during play and landed at the fan's feet behind the basket.
Beverley immediately began to complain to the referees and point at Scaramucci.
"I felt like I didn't do anything out of the ordinary," Beverley said. "I felt like I addressed him and said, 'At the end of the day, this is a basketball game. This is a game. I'm a grown man, you're a grown man, let's just keep it professional.' Just like that, 'There's no need for blatant disrespect,' and that's all.
"I accept the 25 [the NBA fine], it's OK. But at the same time, if it happens again and the NBA won't protect its players, I feel a need as a person and as a man with two young boys, who has a daughter, who has strong morals about myself, who was raised by a single mother to protect myself if no one else is going to protect me."
It is not Beverley's first incident with an Oklahoma City fan. Four years ago, he was involved in a play that resulted in Russell Westbrook getting hurt and missing the rest of the season. Beverley said a Thunder ball boy threatened to kill him because of the accident.