UPDATED 12:54 p.m. ET: The fan has now been banned by the Knicks following their actions during Game 2. “We apologize to Trae and the entire Hawks organization for this fan’s behavior,” the team wrote in a statement, which you can read in full below.
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There’s no debate that sports are better when fans are in the stands. Also, it’s undeniable that the NBA is more exciting when the Knicks are contenders. But, the long absence of both scenarios has seemingly led to New York fans forgetting how to act in public.
The Atlanta Hawks are embroiled in a heated playoff series with the New York Knicks and Trae Young’s amazing performance has made him Madison Square Garden’s public enemy no. 1. After subjecting him to obscene jeers in Game 1, a courtside fan in Game 2 took things to an unfathomable level of disrespect by seemingly spitting on the Atlanta point guard.
As Young was inbounding the ball during the fourth quarter, a liquid that resembled spit flew from the stands near Young. Fortunately for the fan, Young was too focused to acknowledge the incident. However, it was caught on tape and fans wasted no time condemning the perceived perpetrator.
Ironically, the interaction happened in front of New York legend, 50 Cent. So instead of taking things to the next level on social media, Young decided to highlight the randomness of the moment.
“The Magic Loogie” incident comes after chaos almost erupted at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday as well. As Russell Westbrook was being helped to the locker room to treat an injury during his team’s game against the Sixers, a fan decided to dump popcorn on his head. Luckily, 4-plus people were able to stop the injured Westbrook from getting into the stands. Because if he would’ve gotten loose, Beanie Sigel and all of State Property wouldn’t have been able to stop the 6’3”, 200 pound athlete from taking matters into his own hands.
The combination of these two events prompted Young’s father, Rayford Young, to urge the NBA to get things like this “under control.”
“Gotta get this under control. @russwest44 gets popcorn thrown on him & @TheTraeYoung gets spat on,” he tweeted. “I can deal with all the chants about my son, it comes with it. But this needs to be addressed.”