Going into Game 4, the 76ers looked to sweep the Wizards while in Washington D.C. They had a 3-0 lead heading into the night, but the Wizards had other ideas – and so did one of their fans. During the third quarter of the game, a fan ran onto the court cheering and jumping up and down with excitement. He also ran over to one of the baskets, jumped up and slapped the backboard.
However, that would be the end of his on-court shenanigans because a security guard quickly took matters into his own hands. Right after the fan jumped up to tap the backboard, the security guard tackled him onto the hardwood floor. Yet this was no halfhearted amateur tackle. An NFL linebacker would be proud of the security guard’s form the way he tackled the fan low and wrapped him up.
Even the announcers had to share a laugh over the situation. Former NBA star turned broadcaster Reggie Miller joked that Washington’s NFL team should sign the security guard.
“The [Washington Football Team] better look into hiring that man right there. What a tackle there by the security!” Miller joked during the broadcast.
After the security guard tackled the fan, the pair wrestled around for a bit. Additionally, 76ers center Dwight Howard hilariously stood over the pair taking in the scene as close as he could. According to the NY Post, the fan got arrested and will likely be banned from the arena for the foreseeable future. Thankfully no one got hurt in the on-court intrusion, but it did make for some hysterical scenes.
NBA Ratings Down Double Digits Going Into Playoffs
While the NBA has had multiple issues with fans recently, they’re also facing other issues off the court as well. The league has struggled this season with its viewership as ratings have taken a serious dive.
Last season, the NBA Finals had a 50 percent drop in viewership compared to the year before. For those that don’t remember, league officials paused the season before continuing in a bubble. The NBA finished the season under quarantine in Orlando, Florida.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to lower ratings. Additionally, the playoffs didn’t start until the fall. Therefore the NBA had to compete with NFL and college football, and the MLB and NHL Playoffs. On paper, all of those sports airing at once seems like a sports fan’s dream come true. In reality though, it didn’t pan out as idyllic as imagined.
Yet as things returned to some form of normalcy this season, the NBA ratings continued to dip. In fact, they fell by double digits. Austin Karp, the managing and business editor at the Sports Business Journal, shared details on the matter a few weeks ago on Twitter.
“NBA viewership is down 13% headed into last week of the season (TNT, ABC, and ESPN compared to 2019-2020 regular season),” Karp wrote. “Lakers continue to be a top draw (and should draw solid figure against Knicks on TNT tomorrow).”
The decrease in viewership could stem from numerous issues within the NBA. But we can guarantee the league will be paying close attention to the numbers, and so will their sponsors.