A Washington Wizards coach had enough of the fans. According to Yahoo Sports, Wizards assistant coach Mike Batiste had to be restrained by players after he jumped into the stands to confront a fan near the end of the team’s blowout loss to the Miami Heat. The incident happened with 13 seconds remaining in the game as Batiste stood up and lunged toward the stands. NBC Sports Washington posted a video of Batiste going into the crowd.
Wizards players Montrezl Harrell and Thomas Bryant intervened and prevented Batiste from making any contact with the fans. Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. spoke to reporters about the incident following the game. I was kind of at the scorers’ table, so I turned around after I think it kind of began,” Unseld said per NBC Sports Washington. “To my understanding, a fan or several fans said something that was out of line. Obviously, we have to take the high road and just can’t indulge in that. I think it was a situation where something was said that was a bit over the line and I think it got the best of one of our coaches. Either way, you have to take the high road.”
The incident with a fan and the Wizards bench in which Harrell had to intervene: pic.twitter.com/IiNXUp7Z8x
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 8, 2022
It’s not clear what the fan or fans yelled at Batiste. Unseld said incidents with fans and NBA players and coaches seem to be happening more often. “I think I’ve seen it happen around the league or various leagues. We’re just more aware of it, maybe. But it does happen and, I think in the last probably year-and-a-half since fans have been back in arenas, at times yeah, it has gotten a bit more egregious,” he said.
“So, it’s difficult because you have to kind of endure some things you probably shouldn’t endure or wouldn’t endure in the general public. But that’s part of it and you have to kind of have selective hearing at times and keep playing, go beyond that.”
Batiste, 44, joined the Wizards this season after spending time with the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic. As a player, Batiste spent the 2002-2003 season with the Memphis Grizzlies but played overseas the majority of his career. He played college basketball at Arizona State where he was named first All-Pac-10 for the 1998-99 season.