Court side seats don't exist in any other sport, just basketball. Unlike football or baseball fans and players sit right next to each other. But basketball's best seat, can offer just as much risk as reward.
"OSU's star Marcus Smart came unglued and could be looking at a suspension." (Via KOTV)
"His welcomed return to the court now tarnished by a fan in the stands" (Via ABC)
"You can't take your frustrations out on a fan, it's one thing to slam a chair and what not but to do that on a fan is a no-no" (Via Fox Sports)
After breaking the fourth wall and shoving a fan during the final seconds of the Oklahoma State Texas Tech game Marcus Smart instantly became sports' top story. (Via Fox Sports, Complex, New York Daily News)
With many debating who is to blame for the awful occurrence and what was really said to send Smart over the edge.
"Marcus Smart has got to know better, he's played in big games he's played on national TV he's not new to this stage."
"If it was something really bad then the fan should step forward and pay the price maybe lose his tickets." (Via ESPN)
No one has confirmed what was said but many are reporting, the fan yelled a racial slur at Smart. (Via Sports Illustrated)
According to the man himself, Texas Tech superfan Jeff Orr, the comment was at least bad enough to regret having said it in the first place. (Via Twitter /@TTUHoopsFans)
CBS Sports analyst, Doug Gottlieb posted a text conversation he reportedly had with Orr after the game where the Texas Tech fan said in part, "I kinda let my mouth say something I shouldn't have." Though Orr does deny any racial slurs. (Via Twitter / @GottliebShow)
One big reason this shove is such a big deal has nothing to do with Smart.
Arguably the NBA's most infamous moment was, the Malice at the Palace, when Metta World Peace, Ron Artest at the time, and Stephen Jackson rushed the stands during a 2004 regular season game and began fighting fans. (Via Grantland)
Obviously the severity of the 2004 NBA melee compared to Smart's shove is very different but that didn't stop the analyst calling the game from mentioning Ron Artest and Marcus Smart in the same breath only minutes after the altercation.
And the comparisons continued on Twitter, with hundreds of tweets comparing Smart to Artest during the big fan on player fight. (Via Twitter / @Bballforeverfb / @BGuerra13 / @sportsquotient)
And while the Smart's lapse in judgment is unacceptable, one Fox Sports writer says judging Smart by this one incident is un-fair. "Don’t you dare try to turn this into a debate about the character of a young man you’ve never met. And don’t you dare use thinly veiled racist code to fit your thug crown snugly on Marcus Smart’s head."
While others proclaim, racial slurs, low blows and the like come with the territory, "...men and women in that spotlight ... are subjected to levels of disrespect and hatred that few can understand. A refusal to respond does not constitute cowardice. It proves maturity." (Via ESPN)
Marcus Smart was not ejected from the game because this has never happened in a college basketball game before. The NCAA is investigating the incident but no punishment has been given to Smart or OK State yet.