BOSTON — The Celtics’ late-January clash with the Golden State Warriors was one of the most exciting games of Boston’s season thus far, but it didn’t come without a sour note.
A fan was ejected from TD Garden after directing a racial slur at Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins. Following further investigation, the Celtics issued a statement Friday revealing the fan has been issued a two-year ban from Celtics games and is subject to lifetime probation.
Prior to Boston’s home matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Brad Stevens reacted to the latest developments of the incident. In addition to lamenting what took place, the C’s head coach issued a message to fans.
“I heard that night that something had been said and I knew that everybody in charge here was taking it really seriously,” Stevens said. “I had not heard the results of that investigation or the decision until last night. Talked a little bit more with our people this morning. Listen, it’s disappointing any time there’s a negative fan interaction. Most of the fan interactions that I’ve been a part of — I’d say 99 percent of it is just good-natured ribbing back and forth. There’s no doubt this isn’t the first time that a fan has crossed the line. It’s not the only time this year, obviously, in the NBA. Those are disappointing things.
“Hopefully it’s a reminder for everybody here and everywhere else. Cheer for your team, cheer loudly, enjoy it and hopefully appreciate guys on both sides.”
We have a feeling everyone across the league will agree with Stevens’ guidelines for fans, who would be wise to manifest the coach’s remarks.