To the fan: Basketball is just a game

A Cleveland Cavaliers fan was recently banned from Quicken Loans Arena for shouting racial slurs.

At its core, basketball is a game. One team tries to get the ball in their opponent's goal, while simultaneously trying to prevent their opponent from scoring in their own goal. There are nuances and rules, but at the base level, it is beautifully simple.

This is how fans should view the sport. It is fun to watch, simple to understand, and filled with players and teams to root for.

To a player, basketball can be more than just a game. Basketball can be an escape, a safe place, and a way of life. Even to a player though, it is at its core a really, really fun game.

Fans can get competitive too, sometimes more than they should. Rooting for your team is encouraged; rooting against your rivals is even alright. However, fans have to know where to draw the line.

Lines were crossed at a Cleveland Cavaliers game

Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs went to the line in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and was met by jeering from an opposing fan. After an investigation by the Cavs, the racial taunting earned the fan a indefinite ban from the arena (to be reviewed after a year's time).

They found him? Wow. Yeah, it’s great that things like that are not happening again. If not, we’d be very hypocritical. ... It can’t be allowed. So it’s great that it happened. I don’t know how they found him, but it’s awesome.
— Mills' Spurs teammate, Manu Ginobili

Sports fans (and parents) are notorious for heckling other human beings. Unfortunately, competitiveness can get the better of decent people, but also can show an individual's true colors.

Players - basketball can be more than a game, so keep honing your craft and as LeBron James likes to say, "strive for greatness". Fans - remember that players are real people and are not machines built for your entertainment. Keep it classy and never shout at a player something you would not have the nerve to say right to their face.

Keep reading about all things hoops right here at The Basketball Movement blog.