Kyle Lowry was upset after the Toronto Raptors' victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland last night due to an incident late in the game where he tumbled into the crowd to save a loose ball.
"I got pushed, and that's the second time it's happened to me," he said. "The next time it happens, I don't know if I'll be able to control myself. Fans like that shouldn't be able to lay any hands on you and shouldn't be a part of our game."
Lowry was famously shoved by Mark Stevens, part owner of the Golden State Warriors, during last year's NBA Finals. Stevens was hit with a $500,000 fine in addition to a one-year ban.
But while that incident was clear-cut, with Lowry suggesting vulgar language had been used, Thursday night's appears a bit more open to interpretation.
Yes, the fan in question gives Lowry an extra push. But, at least to a charitable interpretation, it have been more aimed at getting him back in the play than delivering a message of anger.
Was it unnecessary? Sure. I do think, though, and perhaps naively, there was nothing malicious at play here. The fan clearly makes a move to catch Lowry as he's falling.
That was a split-second decision -- and a weird one to make if the intention was to deliver a message of animus a few seconds later.
Regardless of what was going through this fan's mind and heart, he's likely to face punishment. The lesson here, as always, is to never have expensive seats at the ballgame. That way nothing like this can happen.