According to Cristina Flores, of the local Utah based CBS Television affiliate KUTV, one of the Utah Jazz ' best fans, and long-time season ticket holder Dr. Rick Anderson (better known on the Jazz' own in-house broadcasts as "Doc") has been threatened with a lifetime ban.
"I don't want to be the second best fan in that arena, I want to be the best fan."
- Dr. Rick Anderson
So crazy. As the report on the KUTV site states:
(KUTV) Dr. Rick Anderson, likely the Utah Jazz' best-known fan, has been slapped with an official notice from the NBA: Stop bringing your props to the games or you're banned for good.
"I find it kind of offensive after 27 years spending money on front row tickets," he said about the letter that was written by the Utah Jazz, signed by the Jazz Attorney, on behalf of the NBA.
Anderson knows he's rubbed the NBA the wrong way before with his props including rubber chickens, blow-up dolls and signs. He's used the props over the years to distract players on the opposing team - especially at the free throw line.
"I do what I can to help the Jazz," he said.
Slowly but surely, he's omitted props from his bag of tricks. His last prop, was a Jazz-issued umbrella. On Nov. 5, when the Jazz played the Cavaliers, he twirled it to distract star player LeBron James. Then on Nov. 22 when he was told not to twirl the umbrella as it distracted the players, he opened and closed the umbrella to distract Pelicans players. Apparently, that was the last straw for the NBA.
"I guess they don't have much to do. They sit there watching fans instead of the games," he said of NBA officials who warned he's be out if he continued bringing props to the arena.
At Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors, Anderson looked out-of-place. He was somber, quiet, in a sea of enthusiastic fans, not sure whether $60,000 a year for front row, season tickets is worth the fun - or lack of it.
Clearly, I am siding with the fans here. Doc is amazing, and has been a joy to watch on TV for years. I can only imagine that he's that much more fun in person. It's been a crazy week for the NBA/Utah relationship with the tech on trainer Gary Briggs (which was later rescinded, but the final margin of that game was 2 points, that tech was 50% of the difference).
I am sure that what he does *is* distracting, but it's not more distracting than any other number of high profile fans other teams have. You can't say that playing in front of Jack Nicholson or Phil Knight or Spike Lee or Denzel Washington or Justin Timberlake isn't distracting. Basketball John did the hard work here, and tweeted out a bunch of his pics of how "distracting" he was.
Probably the most horrifying sign Dr. Anderson has held up pic.twitter.com/qUny1Hojvs— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Here's the Doc throwing a basketball up and... OH MY LOOK AT NOAH'S RELEASE. HOW DOES THAT GO STRAIGHT? pic.twitter.com/RlMDWlaErA— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Yeah, the rubber chicken here is what's distracting. pic.twitter.com/nJnLz5r6Ha— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Another rubber chicken sighting. The horror. pic.twitter.com/E6ExlilVx1— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
And here's some sort of cheese wheel that you can't see? pic.twitter.com/hsfC0UrwJx— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Doc is distracting the lady to his right more than he is the shooter with his umbrella. pic.twitter.com/ir8rU1JEJ3— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
"You see Adam, there was this floting basketball head, and I wasn't sure if that's what I was supposed to use or..." pic.twitter.com/xKMl6rdFKa— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Thanks again Basketball John for doing all the hard work here!
You know, I bet if Dr. Anderson would throw a sponsorship on his chicken and inflatable doll and split proceeds w/ NBA, they'd be good.— Kris (@5kl) December 4, 2014
Anyway, this is silly. The Jazz need to step up and defend their long time season ticket holder. This is a bad PR story otherwise. In a season of poor defense it will be very satisfying to see the team stand up to the NBA for a fan, a Jazz super fan.