(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Celtics will host the Pacers Friday night in a pivotal match-up to help decide home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but that's not why we're talking about the TD Garden today.
Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes shed light on a disturbing incident that took place January 26, when the Warriors visited Boston.
"During that game, there was a fan who muttered the N-word at DeMarcus Cousins," Haynes said. "I was told DeMarcus informed one of the team's security guys and they got ahold of the security team there at TD Garden, they took care of the fan. But I was told that fan was banned for the rest of this season and next year, so, he received a two-year ban."
The Celtics said in a statement Friday that they confirmed through an investigation that "the fan had been verbally abusive toward the Golden State bench, but none of the interviewed parties were able to verify the use of racially offensive language, and video evidence proved inconclusive."
The team said the fan, who is a minor, is under lifetime probation—and said that the punishment for any "corroborated discriminatory language" is a lifetime ban from games.
"We express the deepest regrets that this incident happened to DeMarcus, as such behavior violates everything the Boston Celtics have always stood for," the statement read.
Celtics React To Fan Heckling In The NBA
Cousins shared his story on Haynes' Posted Up Podcast and said he only recently learned about the fan ban.
When Cousins told the league about what happened, he was essentially just instructed to not retaliate—he's been fined in the past for altercations with fans.
The NBA fined Russell Westbrook $25,000 earlier this month for cursing at and threatening fans in Utah.
In 2017, former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones accused fans at Fenway Park of using racist terms, and of throwing a peanut bag at him.
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports