Should former-Celtic, Isaiah Thomas, receive further punishment after entering the stands?

The Philadelphia versus Washington contest had already been decided when former-Celtic, Isaiah Thomas, missed his first free throw attempt but hit his second. A timeout was called, and Isaiah calmly walked into the stands to confront a 76'ers fan who allegedly had yelled obscenities directed at IT.



A brief discussion between Isaiah and the offending Philly fan ensued with no physical contact. Thomas was ejected from the game for purposely entering the stands, and two fans were escorted out of the arena. IT later indicated the fan in question displayed two middle fingers and yelled "F**k you" at him several times. The offender offered the explanation that his actions resulted from losing out on a dessert promised to 76'ers fans when an opponent misses two free throws in a row, and he apologized to IT.


Philadelphia went on to win the game 125-108. The question now remains as to what action the league may take against Isaiah. Although no physical altercation took place, and the verbal confrontation was amicable, we all know it could have been otherwise. The NBA has taken a firm stand on its players entering the stands ever since "The Malice at the Palace" fiasco in 2004. When the Pacers Ron Artest aggressively confronted a fan at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Michigan, all hell broke loose. Artest was suspended for 72 games (the remainder of the season), and other Indiana and Detroit players were suspended for as many as 30 games.

It seems certain that Thomas will receive some type of punishment for his infraction, but I would be surprised to see anything more than a fine and/or a one-game suspension. Security was right on the issue very quickly, and that may have played a role in the incident not escalating. But since these encounters almost always start with misbehavior by patrons, I await any action against the two offenders who were ejected along with IT.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook

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