posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 04:14 PM
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.(AP) - A fan's allegation that Lakers forward Karl Malone poked him in the face before Game 3 of the NBA Final was being
investigated by police Friday. Asked whether the confrontation occurred, Auburn Hills police Lt. James Manning said, "It's on tape on national
The man was at the edge of the court during Los Angeles layup drill before Thursday night's game, won by the Detroit Pistons 88-68.
"To me, he was really out of line,"
Malone said Friday. "Just because you buy a ticket doesn't mean you should be able to get on the court
and degrade somebody."
Malone, a 19-year NBA veteran and the league's second-leading career scorer, said the fan had obviously been drinking and spit in his face while
heckling him. Malone jabbed his right index finger toward the man. As to whether he made contact, Malone said, "Maybe I did, but he was in my
"He was on the court. Where was the security in the arena?"
The unidentified man complained to the Auburn Hills police.
"At this time, the investigation is going on and we are not releasing any information about the case,"
Manning declined to comment further and said police would release more information Monday. Manning said police have talked to the fan and that he is a
complainant in the case.
"Maybe he wanted to beat me to the draw. Who knows?"
Malone said. "I'm not going to let a guy spit on me, I'm not going to take that. I've
never had that happen before."
Malone also said fans have harassed the Lakers at their hotel in nearby Birmingham.
"They did it all night long until the cops came,"