The Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Blake was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for "directing inappropriate language toward a fan" in the closing seconds of Friday's loss to the Clippers at Staples Center.
Blake, a 10-year NBA veteran, owned up to his bad behavior, telling Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, "It's one of those moments you're not proud of."
But, according to Plaschke, there's more to this story.
The man Blake cursed out was Lance Jackson, the adult son of Steve Jackson, chairman of the L.A. Gear shoe company and a longtime Lakers fan who has eight courtside seats at Staples.
By all accounts, Lance Jackson was heckling Blake, shouting at him about "making your open shots," and Plaschke reported that a source said Jackson's taunts included a profanity-laced personal attack.
Blake apologized to the Jacksons on Tuesday, but the incident raises plenty of questions:
When fans buy tickets to sporting events, does that give them the right to heckle players?
If the heckling becomes personal, mean-spirited and vile attacks, what then?
Should rich, courtside patrons be warned and possibly tossed out of a game, similar to what might happen to the knuckleheads sitting in the nosebleed seats?
And should a player ever be allowed to respond to taunts, especially off-color attacks?
Blake crossed the line, paid the price and, hopefully, learned from the experience.
Maybe the fan will learn from this, too.
What to watch
NFL, Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 5:20 p.m., NFL: It's the NFL what else would you watch?
What should fans be allowed to say at a sporting event?
Cheer and boo only
Anything they want
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Who is the best center taken in the 2010 NBA draft?
DeMarcus Cousins: 81%
Greg Monroe: 11%
Total votes: 153
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