Here’s why Kyrie Irving had a Hornets fan removed from the Spectrum Center
While the Charlotte Hornets booted the Dallas Mavericks out of an NBA Western Conference playoff spot after a 110-104 win on Sunday afternoon, Kyrie Irving did something similar to a fan who had gotten a bit too confrontational with him during the game.
With 8:46 remaining in the third quarter, Irving walked toward the Mavericks bench area during a stoppage in play accompanied by referee Nick Buchert, who pointed to someone sitting in the Spectrum Center stands.
Soon after, security guards converged on a fan and escorted the person out of the arena at the request of Irving.
During the post-game press conference, Irving -- the mercurial point guard who was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to Dallas in February -- explained what transpired during the interaction.
“He just called me out my name, so I just had to make sure I looked him eye-to-eye, see if he would say it to my face,” Irving told the media. “A lot of fans say things when you’re turning your head or say it in the crowd cause they can get away with it, but, majority of the time if I could look a fan in the face and see if they really want to say that to me. So he yelled it, I handled it.”
The fan, who has not been identified, likely ran afoul of the NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct policy that details rules spectators should follow while in attendance at league venues.
A fan has been ejected for heckling Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/FdEg69flHp
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) March 26, 2023
According to the NBA, fans are expected to “respect and appreciate” the players as well as “ enjoy the basketball experience free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language and obscene gestures.”
The NBA has instructed all arena staff to intervene when necessary to “help ensure that the above expectations are met, and guests are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior to the nearest usher, security guard, or guest services staff member,” the policy states.
“Guests who choose not to adhere to this Code of Conduct will be subject to penalty including, but not limited to, ejection without refund, revocation of their season tickets, and/or prevention from attending future games,” the policy states. “They may also be in violation of local ordinances resulting in possible arrest and prosecution.”