Ex-NBA star Richard Jefferson slams colleague’s take on court-storming consequences: ‘Dumbest thing’

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Richard Jefferson blasted his ESPN colleague’s take on court-storming after Jay Bilas suggested those who enter the playing field to celebrate upset victories should be arrested for the action.

Jefferson, who played several years in the NBA after a standout collegiate career with Arizona, took apart Bilas’ take on ESPN’s “NBA Today.”

“That’s gotta be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire …,” Jefferson said on Monday. “Did he say detain 10,000 people? Did he say give 10,000 people citations?”

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Wake Forest fans storm the court

Wake Forest Demon Deacons fans storm the court after a win over the Duke Blue Devils at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 24, 2024 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Jefferson said he has had the court stormed on him as a player a handful of times, and “it sucks.”

“But this is about college basketball, this is about college football. To say something, and I love Jay Bilas – a legend in this game – that is asinine to suggest that,” he continued. “Because for me, when you look at this, yeah, get your players off the floor. … But this is a part of college sports, it always has been, for what? Forty years? Fifty years?

“You know what? Even in football. You’re gonna stop all the people from running on the field when Alabama loses to Florida A&M? No, you’re not going to stop it. Figured out a way to protect your players. Again, we’re talking about one situation, two situations over the course of how many court stormings?

“We get it. But let’s not get old and get the ‘Get off my lawn, get a citation, let’s arrest them all.’ Do we know what we’re talking about when we say these things?”

Jefferson said if fans paid their tuition and went to support their team in an underdog situation against a blue blood like Duke, Arizona, Kansas or Kentucky, then “Look, you deserve to storm the court.”

Bilas brought up his idea earlier on Monday.

Nebraska fans after Iowa win

Kendall Moriarty, #15 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, celebrates with teammates and fans on the court after the win against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 11, 2024 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

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“The truth is nothing’s going to change now,” he said on “First Take.” “We’re going to talk about it. It’s going to go away, and nothing’s going to change. And if they wanted to stop it, they could stop it tomorrow. The administrations will tell you the security experts tell them that it’s not a good idea to try stop the court-storming, because that could cause more problems than it would solve.

“But you don’t have to stop the court storming. One time, all you have to do is, once they’re on the court, don’t let them off. Just say, ‘You’re all detained,’ and give them all citations, or arrest them if you want to. And then court stormings will stop the next day.”

Bilas then suggested the media was complicit in the court-storming.

Richard Jefferson and Jay Bilas

Richard Jefferson, left, fired back at Jay Bilas’ take on court-storming. (Getty Images)

“Years ago, when fans would run out on the field or the court during a game, it was network policy not to show that because we didn’t want to encourage it. So what does that say about the way we in the media use these images now? We can’t deny that we encourage it or at least tacitly approve of it.

“Everyone has to accept some responsibility for this. I don’t think it’s the right thing to allow this, but I know that it’s gonna continue. This is not going to stop.”

Duke star Kyle Filipowski had to be helped off the court after Saturday’s incident. 

It appeared a fan made contact with him running from the left side of the court. The fan who appeared to hit Filipowski fell to the court, and Filipowski somehow ended up in the arms of Duke staff.

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The incident sparked the latest talk around court-storming.

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