Speaking on the Inside the NBA show on TNT, Barkley was responding to recent reports of bad fan behavior. The incidents included a fan dumping popcorn on Washington Wizards player Russell Westbrook and another spitting at Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.
Barkley said that the National Basketball Assn. needs a rule change that would allow players to retaliate against one fan per game.
“Y’all guys always get mad when I say what NBA rule I would change,” Barkley said. “I think you should be able to go up in the stands and beat the hell out of one person per game.”
“I can’t see why that didn’t take hold,” Barkley’s co-host Ernie Johnson replied.
“You don’t think that guy didn’t deserve to get his *ss beat right at center court,” Barkley responded.
The NBA has been on guard against player reactions since 2004, when Indianapolis Pacer Ron Artest went into the stands after a Detroit Pistons fan threw a beer at him. The “Malice in the Palace” brawl resulted in Artest being suspended for 86 games. He later adopted the name “Metta World Peace.”