Players from the Liaoning Flying Leopards brawled with opposing fans who were waiting for them outside their team hotels on Wednesday, creating an ugly scene that sent one security guard to the hospital.
After the Sichuan Blue Whales won the first two games of the CBA Finals, the Leopards answered back with a 109-104 victory on Wednesday. After the game, a group of roughly 20 to 30 Sichuan fans arrived outside the Liaoning hotel and began heckling the team, per Shark Fin Hoops. Some of the players had family members with them, and the father of one of the players reportedly started the brawl when he confronted a heckler. The team got involved, leading to this.
The CBA has not offered any official announcement on the incident, but Chinese media is reportedly comparing the fight to the NBA's infamous Malice in the Palace.
Both teams have former NBA players. Hamed Haddadi, a five-year veteran with the Memphis Grizzlies, plays for Liaoning, while Lester Hudson is part of the Sichuan squad. Shavlik Randolph (Liaoning), Justin Denton and Mike Harris (Sichuan) also all played in the NBA briefly.
Per CBA rules, violent interactions with fans like this would constitute an eight to 10 game ban at least, and perhaps a season-long ban. Both options would cause players involved to miss the rest of the Finals, which could include as many as three starters for Liaoning.