There has been almost as much written about the activity in the stands as what happened on the court during the two games in Dallas. It makes me very angry that this is news and that I even had to consider putting together a post about it, but it is a story that is still brewing. In an attempt to put everything behind us here is all the information available right now on what has transpired.
The first public salvo was fired by Mark Cuban when he admittedly made a remark about Kenyon Martin’s personality and demeanor to Lydia Moore, Kenyon’s mother.
Of course Kenyon was upset over what Cuban said to Mrs. Moore and he claimed he would take care of things man to man. Mark Cuban then apologized on his blog, but just this afternoon Kenyon decided that his apology was not sincere.
Game four saw more ugliness. Chauncey Billups said that he had about ten members of family and friends at the game who had a bad experience.
The main story surrounds Mrs. Moore and Carmelo’s finance LaLa Vazquez. There were reports that Mrs. Moore had a beer poured over her head and Ms. Vazquez claims she was verbally assaulted, including racial slurs, and was physically pushed.
The Nuggets’ version of what transpired can be read here. There is also an eye witness account from Peggy, a Mavericks season ticket holder, of what happened on this podcast from a Dallas radio station. She claims that Mrs. Moore did nothing to upset anyone during game three, but had a completely different demeanor for game four. Peggy claims Mrs. Moore entered in such a way as to draw attention to herself and began talking trash and trying to get under people’s skin. However, according to Peggy it was a bodyguard with Ms. Vazquez who apparently triggered the ugliness with a cruel remark about her appearance and everything that went wrong was the fault of Ms. Vazquez and her bodyguard.
I am not in a position to say who is right or who is wrong. Peggy’s account is being held as the gospel by those seeking to defend the reputation of Mavericks fans so at this point I feel like I need to point out a discrepancy. Peggy left before halftime to compose herself and was not present during the time some of the people around her were removed from their seats by security. Later she talks about how she can definitely say that no one dumped a beer on Mrs. Moore, but we know based on what she said that she missed whatever happened that resulted in the expulsion of her fellow fans.
The biggest problem with how these stories and quotes are analyzed is every comment is being viewed through a stereotype. Mavericks fans are a bunch of hicks so of course they made racial slurs or LaLa Vazquez is an attention hogging wanna be celebrity.
Everyone is picking and choosing sides based on which team they are loyal to. The truth is almost everybody is capable of becoming an idiot. There are classless Mavericks fans and oh by the way, there are classless Nuggets fans too, but the vast majority of fans of both teams love the game and just want to support their team.
The bottom line is that all of this is unsubstantiated my word against your word, but we do know that things became so untenable that people had to leave a game they really wanted to watch. As far as I am concerned everyone involved is guilty. It takes two sides to escalate a dispute and the one thing that is not reported is that anyone on either side tried to be the voice of reason to work to calm the situation down.
I realize it is probably too late to write this and do any good, but if you are going to the game tonight, do not just behave appropriately, make sure that those around you do too. Do not soil what could be a historic victory with reports of insults and abuse. If you are sitting next to a Mavericks’ fan, you do not need to talk trash or get in their face. Let the Nuggets take care of that on the floor. There is no better way to insult your opponent than by shaking their hand afterward and saying, “Congratulations on a nice season.”
Update: I originally thought this video was from after game three, prompting Cuban to yell at Mrs. Moore, but it was from after game four as Kenyon was responding to the fan’s behavior. Still, highly inappropriate, but slightly more understandable. Plus Deadspin has a video of LaLa Vazquez leaving her seat (thanks to Denver Stiffs for the link).