As NBA fans become more bold with their taunts, the bolder the players have been about speaking out.
Thomas said he was running back up the court after making one of two free throws and that a fan had “both of his middle fingers up and said, ‘F— you, b—-,’ three times.”
During the next timeout, he went into the stands to have a word with the fan.
“I said: ‘Don’t be disrespectful. I’m a man before anything. Be a fan.’ His response was, ‘I’m sorry, I just wanted a Frosty,'” Thomas said. Thanks to a local Wendy’s promotion, when an opposing player misses two free throws in a row during the second half, fans are eligible to get a free Frosty.
Late in the fourth quarter, Thomas missed his first attempt at the line, but made his second, which set the fan off.
There was even video that showed the interaction of Thomas pulling up, and he remained super calm the entire time as the fan was calm and didn’t actually want that smoke.
But, despite approaching the fan respectfully and not threatening him with any sort of violence he was given a two-game suspension because of league rules.
“NBA rules state that any player who deliberately enters the spectator stands during a game will be automatically ejected and subjected to a fine and/or suspension,” the league said in a statement. “This bright-line rule is intended to prevent altercations or other hostile interactions between players and fans, for the benefit of both, and is therefore enforced even in circumstances such as these when the encounter between Thomas and fans did not escalate.”
Thomas’ suspension begins tonight as the Wizards take on the New York Knicks.