Sports | October 15, 2021 2:08 pm

NBA Partnering With Prosecutors to Help Ensure Appropriate Fan Behavior

The league is expecting full arenas and fans acting appropriately when the season starts next week

Vaccinated fans in the stands during the NBA Play-In Tournament. This season, the NBA is working to curtail bad fan behavior.
Vaccinated fans in the stands during the NBA Play-In Tournament.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty

If Kyrie Irving chooses to get vaccinated and takes the floor in the NBA during the upcoming season, he won’t have to worry about a water bottle being thrown his way again — probably.

With the NBA expecting full arenas when the season starts next week, the league is taking steps to ensure that past incidents like the aforementioned bottle-throwing remain a thing of the past. Those steps include teaming up with the National District Attorneys Association so that NBA franchises are connected with local prosecutors who can serve as points of contact when misconduct occurs in the stands or outside arenas within the league.

By publicizing the prosecutor partnership, the league is hoping fans will realize that consequences will be swift and severe if they are caught behaving in an unruly manner that is against the NBA’s code of conduct for spectators. In addition to ejection and banishment from the league’s arenas, those consequences can easily now include legal charges.

“Certainly, deterrence is a goal,” said Elizabeth Maringer, NBA senior VP and assistant general counsel, told The Associated Press. “It absolutely is a goal. It’s why we have signage, it’s why we post our fan code of conduct, it’s why we make public-address announcements about behavior. We want to discourage anyone who’s thinking of doing something from doing it, particularly if it’s going to cross the line into criminal behavior.”

If you’re planning to attend an NBA game this season, don’t act up after tip-off without being prepared to face the consequences.