15 Seconds of Fame: The Best NBA Fan Moments of the Season
The NBA has become the ultimate in fan interaction, as the action is literally happening inches away from the luckiest and highest-paying fans. This usually leads to some very interesting incidents involving everyday people, not just the guys getting paid millions of dollars.
Whether it be guys hitting half-court shots, which is something that's been happening at an alarming rate recently, or just weird altercations or interactions with NBA players, it seems that nary a week goes by without another fan getting his rounds on the Internet.
The Internet has done wonders for fans, as things that usually wouldn't make SportsCenter for more than a few seconds get discussed to no end in the bloggeries around the world.
If you think that's a good or a bad thing is beside the point, it's just something that happens these days, something that I've got to be thankful for.
It's fun to see fans interact with players and get their 15 minutes of fame, and now that we can get a clip of any instance from a game at any time, those 15 minutes seem to come every hour on the hour.
7. LeBron Plays Catch with a Fan
This was probably one of the more interesting fan-involved moments of the year, as it even included an interview with the fan involved on air after it all went down.
With just a few seconds left in the second quarter of Miami's blowout win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the ball ricocheted into the stands, and a fan hopped up and snagged it.
LeBron James then went over to the sidelines and demanded the ball. The fan tossed it down, and he and LeBron passed it back and forth a few times before the game got back underway.
It was just a few seconds out of the game, so there was no harm in messing around for a second or two, but it no doubt gave that fan a memory of a lifetime.
Who else can say they've played catch with LeBron James in the middle of a basketball game?
6. D-Wade Gives a Fan the Boot
Sometimes a heckler gets out of control, and whether or not this guy got out of control seems to be beside the point. It seems to me that he deserved to get chucked from this game just for showing up in that outfit.
This Utah Jazz fan was having a bit too much fun with himself, shouting at anybody who would listen, including, it seems, Dwyane Wade.
Apparently this guy was getting a bit too pointed with D-Wade, so he points at the dude, a few of Utah's finest workers in burgundy jackets stroll over and they escort the finely-garbed gentleman out of the building.
You're ticket gives you the right to react how you will, but acting like a jerk isn't a right that comes with the price of admission.
5. Fan Has O.J. Mayo Sign Mayonnaise
We've really got no idea who pulled this one off, it's just a picture in the long display of photographs on the Dallas Mavericks Tumblr page, but it's easily one of my favorite non-basketball moments of this NBA season.
Mayo was at an autograph signing at an Albertsons in Texas when some unknown gentleman approached him with a jar of mayonnaise.
I like to think that he just stumbled into the store with no idea that Mayo would be there and went sprinting around looking for anything to get signed, rather than just one of those cheesy photos from a stack that you can have signed at an autograph session.
The guy stumbled upon the condiments aisle, and the jars called to him, "Mayo" shining out in his mind.
"Brilliant" he thought, as he rushed to buy it and get Mayo's signature plastered across the front.
The only question I've got left is whether he ended up eating the mayonnaise or not. Who's going to just keep a full jar of mayo for years to come?
4. Half-Court Shot Gets Stuck
Two things stick out to me after watching this video.
First, it's insane to think that chucking a ball at a hunk of glass and metal from that far away could end up with the ball getting wedged between the glass and the metal, leaving everyone speechless in the process.
Even weirder, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. It happened during an Australian NBL game as well.
Second, this guy was going for a chance to win just $1,000. I wouldn't be one to turn down a shot to win a grand, but even the guy who had the ball get stuck in Australia was going for $5,000.
Those Atlanta Hawks promotions people sure are some cheapskates.
3. Tayshaun Prince's Biggest Fan
You've got to love it when a story has a happy ending, and this one just finished up with a relatively happy one of its own.
This guy was in Detroit to see Tayshaun Prince play with the Pistons on the day that he got traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Prince never came out of the tunnel, and it seems as if he slowly realized what had happened, so he took his jersey off and sat down in his puddle of sorrow.
Cory Brandt was indeed a huge Prince fan, then was given a trip to see the Grizzlies play the Minnesota Timberwolves from court-side seats, along with an autographed Prince jersey and a chance to meet the forward before the game.
It all seemed to work out in the end.
2. LeBron Tackle-Hugs a Fan
LeBron James has been having a ton of fun playing basketball this year, and one of his most fun moments actually came during halftime of a game in Miami.
Once again, a fan had just sunk a half-court shot, winning a ridiculous $75,000 (take notes, Atlanta Hawks), and LeBron subsequently freaked out.
He came streaking off the bench, going to hug the guy. The only problem is that LeBron is a giant monster of a man, while this guy looked all of 5'10". The hug quickly turned into the happiest tackle of all time and promptly spread around the Internet like wildfire.
It's just another example of why individual teams seem to have such a good relationship with fans.
Tyler Gutzmer Has a Blast
During a game last season, the Miami Heat broadcast team welcomed Tyler Gutzmer, a young man with leukemia, giving him a few minutes with a headset on and a chance to do a little bit of play-by-play announcing.
Back then he prefaced us all with a bit of a warning (h/t WSVN.com):
If LeBron dunks it, and if you see the camera jump, I apologize cause I'm going to go crazy.
That time around he didn't get his wish, but he was welcomed back in the beginning of January, and LeBron and Dwyane Wade did their best to put on a show for him.
LeBron and Wade put together a fast-break dunk that wouldn't count on the scoreboard, but after hearing Tyler's reaction, they should have just given the Heat four or five points out of the sheer joy that came from that one dunk.