Two-game ban for Wizards guard Thomas over frosty fan incident

New York (AFP) –


Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas was suspended two games without pay by the NBA on Sunday for entering the spectator stands to confront hecklers, the league announced.

Thomas was ejected with 2:53 remaining in the fourth quarter of Washington's 125-108 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday after confronting the 76ers' fans in the stands for what he later said were obscene comments and gestures.

NBA rules dictate ejections and potential fines and suspensions for players who enter the spectator areas during games -- measures aimed at preventing altercations or hostile interactions between fans and players.

The verbal encounter between Thomas and the spectators did not escalate.

Two spectators involved in the incident with Thomas have been banned by the 76ers from the team arena for one year and had their season tickets revoked as a result of the confrontation.

Thomas said after the game that after he missed the first of two free throws but then made the second, the fan screamed an obscene phrase at him three times.

Thomas said he waited for a time out.

"I go in the stands, to confront him. I said, 'Don't be disrespectful. I'm a man before anything, and be a fan'," Thomas said.

"And his response was, 'Sorry, I just wanted a Frosty.'"

The Wells Fargo Center operates a promotion with a fast-food company called the "Frosty Freeze-Out." If a visiting player misses two consecutive free throws fans receive a free small cup of the frozen desert.

Thomas will serve his suspension when the Wizards visit New York on Monday and Detroit on Thursday. He will be able to return when the Wizards host New York next Saturday.

Thomas, 30, is averaging 13.6 points, 4.8 assists and 1.7 rebounds a game for the Wizards, who are 8-20 after three consecutive losses.