Celtics Not Concerned with Security


Given nearly a week to examine the security issues raised by the now-infamous brawl between players and fans in Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov. 19, the Celtics returned to the FleetCenter last night with two losses and few concerns about their on-court safety.

Before facing the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics discouraged the notion that either fans or players have to worry about fights in NBA venues, including on Causeway Street.

   Calling the fight a "freak incident," Celtics forward Tom Gugliotta said he hasn't been paying attention to security at his home court. Other players, including Raef LaFrentz and Walter McCarty, said they hadn't noticed any added guards or measures to prevent incidents, though some said they assumed there has been and will continue to be beefed-up security around the league.

Players said there was no reason for fans to be hesitant about coming to Celtics games.

"If a fan wants to [bait a player], they can do it. And they can probably get away it, unless you've got security lined up and down the sidelines, looking into the stands," said Gugliotta. "But I don't think normally they're going to do it."

With a measure of distance since the brawl, the Celtics have had time to digest the implications. But, from all appearances at the FleetCenter, security has not used that time to make significant changes.

Prior to the season, barriers were installed in front of the first row of seats behind the baskets to prevent fans from coming too close to the court. But longtime season ticket-holder Joanne Borzakian Ouellette said the pipe-and-curtain constructions do little. Courtside seats remain directly adjacent to the floor.

At the start of halftime, an announcement was made asking fans to refrain from throwing anything at players and that going on the court would result in arrest.

Gugliotta said the players have not been informed of new security measures, but they have discussed player conduct and expectations.

"You can hear verbal abuse," Gugliotta said. "If a fan wants you to hear it, you're going to hear it. They have access to you . . . but you have to put up with some things. You've got to have a thick skin."

Placing as much responsibility on the players as on the fans for the recent incident, Ouellette said that in her 30 years of coming to Celtics games, she never had concerns even while bringing her three children.

"I feel very safe at the FleetCenter," said Ouellette. "I think that incident was so isolated . . . I just don't see that here."


FLCeltsFan said...

That fight was a low point for the NBA but I don't think we'll ever see anything like it again. Although, we do have the only rookie to be suspended in college for going into the stands after a fan.

FLCeltsFan said...

Celtics fans are way too classy to provoke anything like that, aren't they?

Lex said...

Hey FCF,

Hope you are feeling better.

Yeah, that fight was sickening.

Celts fans = much cooler

FLCeltsFan said...

Yep, feeling better and happy to have the time to read your posts again. Best blog on the net!!!!

Lex said...

Except for yours.


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