Washington big man Montrezl Harrell found himself playing the role of peacekeeper Monday night when Wizards assistant coach Mike Batiste jumped into the stands to confront hecklers during the final seconds of the game.
Batiste can be seen stepping over the Washington bench and into the stands with just :14 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the Wizard’s 121-100 blowout loss to the Miami Heat.
Harrell and center Thomas Bryant got between Batiste and fans before any physical contact was made.
The incident with a fan and the Wizards bench in which Harrell had to intervene: pic.twitter.com/IiNXUp7Z8x
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 8, 2022
Following the game, coach Wes Unseld Jr. said he believed it was another example of fans getting out of line.
“I was kind of at the scorers’ table, so I turned around after I think it kind of began,” Unseld Jr. told reporters after the game. “To my understanding, a fan or several fans said something that was out of line. Obviously, we have to take the high road and just can’t indulge in that. I think it was a situation where something was said that was a bit over the line, and I think it got the best of one of our coaches. Either way, you have to take the high road.”
Batiste has not commented on the incident, and the NBA has not announced any action against Batiste or any fans.
The Wizards are now 24-29 and have lost eight of their last ten games after having their best start in more than 40 years this season.
They’re in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and will be out of playoff contention if they continue to struggle.
The 28-year-old guard turned down a contract extension with the Wiz because he is reportedly seeking a full five-year max, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on NBA Today.