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NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it abundantly clear in comments this week that the league stands strongly against the kind of behavior seen during the NBA playoffs that involved ugly incidents of fan misconduct. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports NBA commissioner Adam Silver
In a stunning spate of misbehavior in just the last few days, fans have been banned from arenas due to three separate incidents involving the Washington Wizards’ Russell Westbrook, Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young and Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant during road games at Wells Fargo Center, Madison Square Garden and Vivint Arena, respectively.
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The Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Utah Jazz swiftly reacted to the unacceptable fan behavior by indefinitely banning the perpetrators from their arenas.
In an interview with Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington published Friday, Silver strongly condemned the kind of fan impropriety seen this week and pledged the league’s full commitment to maintaining player safety.
“Zero tolerance,” Silver said. “No one is going to get away with an act like that. You’re going to be caught. You’re going to be banned from an arena. In some cases there may be criminal prosecution depending if the conduct rises to that level of an assault or something that the police are going to take note of.”
Silver’s remarks reinforce a statement issued by the NBA on Thursday that laid out in no uncertain terms that fan misconduct will not be tolerated.
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The NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct, which is linked in the NBA’s tweeted release, can be found here.
It’s clear that the NBA takes incidents like the three that occurred this week very seriously. Silver doubled down in further remarks to stress as much and to reinforce how anyone participating in unacceptable behavior will be caught and punished accordingly.
“It’s critically important because, while of course we’re thrilled that fans are able to be back in our arenas, to get out of their homes to share this experience with others, we’ve gotta demonstrate that there is zero tolerance for that sort of behavior. I recognize it’s a minuscule percentage of fans, but they also can destroy the atmosphere for everyone who’s there,” Silver said.
“Then, of course, it’s our job to protect the players and the coaches and the officials. We want to make sure everyone knows it is zero tolerance. If you engage in that type of behavior, you will be caught particularly because even if it’s not recognized at first, there are so many cameras in all of our arenas now that no one is going to get away with that kind of behavior.”
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The Warriors lost to the Lakers in their first play-in game and got eliminated with a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in their second one. Still, the play-in tournament was a major hit in the ratings department. It was so much so that the league is now even considering adding more such tournaments to the season. Thus, Kerr can see the bigger picture here.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
The hope is that the condemnation of such acts and the punishments enforced inspire any potential bad actors to think twice before crossing the line and engaging in such boorish and intolerable behavior. Having Silver lay things out so clearly should be taken as a positive development by the league’s players, many of whom understandably have expressed outrage over what occurred this week.
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Related slideshow: The 25 best NBA nicknames of all time (Provided by Yardbarker)
The 25 best NBA nicknames of all time
If you are an NBA player, there is a good chance you are a known name. You may very well be a star and even one who surpasses the world of sports fandom. Everybody knows Michael Jordan, right? Some guys are known by only one name. Shaq. Kobe. LeBron. Then there are the famous nicknames and the maybe not-as-famous nicknames that are still fun. Who doesn’t like a good nickname? We certainly do, and so do NBA fans. Here are our 25 favorite NBA nicknames.
This is a nickname that has superseded his actual name. How many people call him Earvin Johnson? Nobody, right? He’s Magic Johnson. That’s what he’s been known as since he basically became famous. That’s what he’s known as now. Johnson will always be Magic, which is also a great nickname for a crazy point guard.
It’s such a simple nickname, but it’s so iconic. His name is Julius Erving, and he was a “doctor” of basketball, so he became known as Dr. J. And yet it just stuck with everybody. Dr. J just rolls off the tongue, and Erving’s amazing dunks and stellar play certainly helped embed the nickname in our minds.
The U.S Postal Service doesn’t actually have that “Neither rain nor snow…” motto, but we still think of mail carriers as being largely reliable. That’s how Karl Malone got his nickname, “The Mailman.” Malone always delivered — except on Sunday and national holidays, we guess.
The Big O
Until Russell Westbrook came around, Oscar Robertson was the last player to average a triple-double over a whole NBA season. “The Big” whatever is usually a decent nickname concept, but none of them tops “The Big O” as a nickname. It’s just fun to call somebody “The Big O.”
Wilt the Stilt
Rhyming is a good choice for nicknames. There are a couple of those on this list. Wilt Chamberlain was tall (7-foot-1). So are people who walk on stilts. Hence, Wilt the Stilt. It’s not an intimidating nickname, but it’s fresh enough to be fun.
What is Allen Iverson the answer to? We aren’t sure. That wasn’t really what was important. All that mattered was A.I. (not as good of a nickname) was the Answer. It was a formidable nickname and fitting for a guy who changed the NBA.
Most guys get nicknames for their physical traits or their offensive acumen. Not Gary Payton. He earned his nickname for his defensive skills. Payton is the only point guard to ever be Defensive Player of the Year. He fit to the guys he was guarding like a glove. Works for us.
Call him Akeem. Call him Hakeem. We just known that Hakeem Olajuwon is “The Dream.” It’s a rhyming nickname and a perfect one. He had his Dream Shake. He had those basketball shoes that were way cheaper than Jordan’s. You can even just call him “Dream,” and people will know whom you’re talking about.
The Round Mound of Rebound
Some people call Charles Barkley “Sir Charles,” which is kind of blah. However, Barkley was a hefty, formidable rebounder who wasn’t maybe as much of a physical specimen as some of his fellow big men. “The Round Mound of Rebound” just works perfectly, and it’s maybe the most amusing NBA nickname ever.
Vince Carter had a ton of nicknames: “Air Canada.” “Half Man, Half Amazing.” The best of the bunch, though, is “Vinsanity.” His dunking skills were insane, or rather “Vinesane.” It just rolls off the tongue, and until “Linsanity” it was the one “insanity” nickname out there.
Clyde the Glide
Man, when Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were on the same team, it was a dynamic nickname duo. Maybe “Clyde the Glide” doesn’t make a ton of sense, but we don’t care. Everybody calls him “Clyde the Glide” so you know that works as a nickname.
Joel Embiid likes to have fun. When Sam Hinkie tore down the 76ers to rebuild them, it became known by fans as “The Process.” “Trust The Process” became the rallying cry. Naturally, Embiid, one of the players drafted during that time, decided to give himself the nickname “The Process.” We don’t usually like self-given nicknames, but this one is fun enough to get a pass.
The Dunkin' Dutchman
Rik Smits was a giant guy from the Netherlands who was an underrated player. He was even an All-Star once. When you are over 7-foot tall it’s pretty easy to dunk. It’s also super fun to call a guy “The Dunkin’ Dutchman.”
This is the newest one on the list, and we owe it all to Brook Lopez beginning to shoot threes. The 7-foot center, who had spent his entire career by the basket, was suddenly splashing treys. However, he’s still a mountain of a man, so we get this awesome nickname.
There was a time when Pete Maravich was wearing a jersey that just said “Pistol” on it. He’s not the only Pistol Pete. That’s also the nickname of Oklahoma State’s mascot. However, it’s alliterative and cool, so we still did it for Maravich.
Big Shot Bob
Robert Horry won seven NBA titles even though he was never THAT good of a player. He averaged 7.0 points per game in his career; however, Horry made several iconic big shots. Before he even retired he was being called “Big Shot Bob,” which is, frankly, a great nickname.
Robert Parish played for 21 seasons, and for an NBA-record 1,611 regular-season games. He had a long time to earn a nickname. However, Parish wasn’t the most dynamic of personalities. That’s actually how he got his nickname. He was called “Chief” after the big, quiet character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Dennis Rodman’s nickname “The Worm” is an indelible one. It’s evocative and unusual. How did he get it though? Well, there are conflicting stories. We can’t say for sure how it started. It doesn’t matter. Rodman was an outsized personality, and he earned an outsized nickname.
A few players in NBA history have been called “Big Dog.” We get it, since it’s a really good nickname. However, to us, the quintessential “Big Dog” is Glenn Robinson. His son, Glenn Robinson III, is now in the NBA. Maybe we could call him “Little Dog?” Or maybe “The Puppy?” Or would that maybe not go over well?
Kenny Smith is on TNT’s NBA programming with two other nicknamed gentleman in Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Smith has a nickname of his own though. You could say he’s called Kenny “The Jet” Smith because of his speed. In truth, we know it’s because of the Elton John song “Benny and the Jets” as much as anything else.
This is maybe the best nickname story of the bunch. Nik Stauskas was never a remarkable NBA player. However, one day the closed captioning on a game turned “Nik Stauskas” into “Sauce Castillo.” In the modern era that was able to go viral, and a guy who never made much of an impact on the court got a great nickname anyway.
Sure, technically Big Ben is just the bell — not the clock or the giant tower. Let’s not get pedantic. We think of Big Ben as being tall and foreboding. That makes it a perfect nickname for Ben Wallace, who was arguably the best defensive player in the NBA during his time with the Pistons. When he got a rebound, they would also play a bell chiming in Detroit. Not bad for an undersized, undrafted player.
Danny Ainge could reportedly step down from position with Celtics .
Ainge has been a part of Boston’s front office for nearly 20 years. He was first hired as the executive director of basketball operations for the team in 2003. He has a long history with the franchise, as he also played for the Celtics from 1981-1989. Ainge has won two two NBA titles as a player in Boston and one as an executive.Ainge is known for being one of the most aggressive GMs in basketball, hence his nickname “Trader Danny.” He has both traded and acquired a number of star players over the years, most notably when he brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Boston prior to the 2007-08 season.