Some people do not understand the game of basketball as either player or fan. While some people think that fans are not crucial to the overall basketball experience, both fans and players alike make up the entire experience. Players need to respect the fans, and fans need to respect the players.
One issue that constantly comes up is fans and the “know it all” attitude they exert. A lot of fans think that they can sit back in their seat and dictate how things should be done, and that they know who and what would be better for a team. Not every single fan is this bad, and it would be unfair to paint all fans with the same brush, but the fans that do exert this fanatical style of attitude can cause problems all around.
When players encounter these hardcore fans, the best thing that can be done is learn to be patient. Never directly enter into confrontations with these fans, nor is a player ever going to benefit from trying to argue with them. These people have made up their mind and will not be willing to change very easily.
Coaches will counsel their players in how to avoid unnecessary confrontation, and how to brush off criticism that will be hurled at them in many forms. Players will be idolized, and kids will look up to them, but at the same time, players will be insulted and made fun of, and it’s the players that let the criticism and insults roll off them like sweat that will make better players in the end.
Not all fans will have this negative attitude; some will be an absolute delight for players. They will ask for autographs, or even just for a handshake and a few words. These are the kinds of fans that players need to interact with and need to befriend. They will not only carry the team on by cheering for them, but they will also just be completely loyal and promote the team in various ways and bring in new fans. The positive, understanding, loyal fans are what every team embraces, and much like the team they field each and every game, the team makes sure that its true fans are taken care of.
When and if any of the “aggressive” fans decide to assert their opinions, there are proper steps for both players and fans to take. Much like you would in real life, you just walk away if it is possible. Do not antagonize them, and do not try to argue with them.
Most of the issues are evident only in the upper professional leagues like the NBA, but the other leagues will occasionally encounter the blip on the radar that they will have to deal with, and it would be best to have some methods and procedures in place to deal with it. Coaches will guide their players and help them when the guidance is necessary, players just have to remember an open line of communication with their coach and fellow teammates!
Photo credit: MorphoMir