Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart appeared to have given a courtside fan the middle finger after missing a three in his team’s Game 2 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. He was fined $25,000 for “making an obscene gesture on the playing court,” the league announced on Wednesday.
With the Celtics down 14 with around six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Smart attempted to answer a Bulls’ triple with his own. He missed the shot, and as he got back on defense, he can be seen giving what appears to be his middle finger to a fan.
Smart finished with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks, but Boston went on to lose, 111-97, to fall to 0-2 in its first-round series.
It isn’t the first time Smart’s gotten into it with a fan.
During his playing days at Oklahoma State, Smart shoved a fan after hearing what he thought was a racially charged insult. The fan later claimed he simply called Smart a “piece of crap.” Smart was later suspended three games and issued an apology.
We don’t know who Smart gave the finger to.
It could have been a friend sitting at the game, or a cousin who always rides him for missing shots. It also could have been a fan who felt pricey tickets come with the right to say whatever you want.
They don’t. Players are human, too. So no, Smart can’t go around shoving people. He also can’t go around flicking people off. But the onus falls equally on the fans to treat these guys with respect, win or lose.