HOUSTON — Another city… another Jazz fan getting a phone slapped from his hands.
A video showing Houston Rockets point guard James Harden lightly slapping a Jazz fan has gone viral. But, what happened after the slap is what really has that fan puzzled.
Die-hard Jazz fan Jason Glad admits he wasn’t being nice to Harden, but he claims he wasn’t saying vulgar things or insulting Harden’s family. His comment to Harden was, “You’re still the worst flopper in the NBA.”
That’s when the slap happened.
Glad says everyone was heckling in the Toyota Center. He says he has no problem with trash-talking to opposing players, just as he has no problem if Houston fans do the same to him.
“All of the Rockets fans heckled the Jazz fans just as much, if not more,” Glad says.
Despite having his hand slapped, Glad says things never escalated between him and Harden to a dangerous level.
“I never felt threatened. I never felt like he was personally attacking me. I never felt like that at all. I just felt like I had annoyed him,” Glad says.
What really confused him was the reaction from the men working security. The video shows he was behind the rail, but, a Houston police officer essentially told Glad that he was responsible for Harden’s slap.
The officer said, “If you were at your seat, this would have never happened.”
Glad can be heard asking the officers why it was acceptable for Harden to slap the phone, after which he told the officers he wouldn’t be a problem, then went back to his seat. However, Glad says security pulled him aside during the game to explain his actions.
“I explained what happened, and they said, ‘Well, you realize that if you’re leaning over the rail like that, that could be assault,” Glad claims.
Glad says he couldn’t believe what he heard. “I just looked at him, like, ‘How… what… wait… what?’”
The Houston Police Department is declining to comment on the issue, other than saying the officers were moonlighting as security for the Houston Rockets, and the team sets the code of conduct within the Toyota Center during the games. A representative from the Houston Rockets says the team has not made any statement on the matter.