Referee Joe DeRosa Gets Into Spat With Magic Fan at Halftime
During halftime of Game 2 in the Eastern Conference finals, veteran NBA official Joe DeRosa was involved in a testy incident with a Magic fan near the scorer's table. As DeRosa went over to the table to get his crew's warmup jackets, a fan behind the table approached DeRosa and appeared to be shouting at him.
DeRosa lost his cool for a moment and tossed the basketball at the fan, identified by the Orlando Sentinel as Wyndham Vacation Ownership CEO Franz Hanning, who happens to be a friend of Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Hanning responded by tossing the ball back and was then relocated to another seat by security personnel at the request of DeRosa.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league is aware of the incident and will be reviewing the situation.
"I didn't see it. Unfortunately I know the fan," Rivers told the Sentinel. "But I didn't see it. I didn't know any of it had happened until I came back out. My Orlando buddies were telling me what happened. So I can't have a comment on it because I never saw it. But Joe's not an emotional guy. He's great in any situation so I don't know what happened."
DeRosa, who has officiated over 75 playoff games and five NBA Finals games, could face punishment from the league for his actions.