The Philadelphia 76ers have a home game promotion wherein if any opposing player misses two free throws during a trip to the foul line in the second half, fans can get a free Frosty the next day at Wendy’s.
(The details are all here, if you’re curious.)
Tonight, a few idiot bros decided they really wanted that Frosty, cursing out and flipping off Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas after Thomas hit a free throw. Thomas decided he’d had enough of that, and at the next opportunity, he went into the stands to confront them.
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 22, 2019
That’s obviously not allowed (thanks, Malice at the Palace), but the league’s punishment isn’t going to be as obvious for this incident; Thomas didn’t get violent, and according to his account, he was completely respectful. The story, as he tells it, is joyfully absurd, though contains some NSFW audio that NBA TV didn’t bother bleeping:
Isaiah Thomas explains why he went into the stands to confront the Sixers fans pic.twitter.com/hi9kR0HHMt
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) December 22, 2019
Honestly, assuming Thomas is telling the truth (and if he’s making any of this up, he should go into screenwriting instead of basketball), it’s hard to see the league coming down too harshly on him for it. He’s going to get some kind of punishment; any venture into the crowd in this kind of context is simply not going to be condoned at all by the NBA, but when you’re reacting to over-the-top behavior (for an impossibly stupid reason) you’re not going to get the same kind of treatment as Stephen Jackson throwing haymakers.
As for the fans in question, they’re hopefully not going to be back. The NBA has had issues in recent seasons with fans being way too confrontational with players, including a memorable instance of a kid trying to shove Russell Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook pulled the dad card on a Nuggets fan after the kid gave him a little push. pic.twitter.com/b4nBTXlV9r
— ESPN (@espn) February 27, 2019
If you care enough about saving a buck or two on a free (admittedly delicious) Frosty that you’re willing to go full double-bird/f-bomb on an NBA player, you probably kind of deserve whatever you have coming.