PHOENIX — Even with the Utah Jazz in town to face the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday, the effects of Monday night’s fan behavior in Utah still lingers across the NBA.
On Tuesday, the Jazz issued a permanent ban of Utah County resident Shane Keisel, who was involved in a verbal altercation with Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, but the topic of healthy player-fan interaction remains a relevant discussion.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder is confident that the unfortunate situation will end with a better result as behind-the-scenes moves are being made in Salt Lake City.
“Anytime you have an incident that’s unfortunate, you hope there can be a catalyst for positive change,” Snyder said ahead of the tipoff against Phoenix. “We’re lucky to work for an organization and for the Miller family that is very aware and all those things, there’s steps being taken and those people, players, everybody is aware, and things will be done.
“There’s a plan being formed, and we’ll handle those things going forward.”
Suns forward Josh Jackson was certainly in tune with what took place between the fan and Westbrook at Vivint Arena, after which the NBA fined Westbrook $25,000 for "directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”
However, Jackson hopes more serious steps could be taken to prevent these incidents from occurring in the future, where fans can potentially receive harsher penalties.2 comments on this story
“With the player interactions, I do think sometimes the fans do have a little bit too much freedom and are allowed to do and say things without that big of a consequence for real,” Jackson told the Deseret News. “Any fine to me, I feel like that’s money coming out of my pocket, literally, but what is this person being banned from this arena? I just lost $20,000.
“That ain’t fair, but ways that we can control it? Honestly, I don’t know,” he continued. “I really don’t know. It’s a hot topic right now and it’s definitely something we need to control a little bit better, but you can only control what you can control.”