Two people lost their jobs after a child ran on the court last week at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans to hug New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, reports NOLA.com’s John Reid.
Late in the fourth quarter of a Mar. 28 matchup between the Knicks and Pelicans, a small fan ran out on the floor and gave Anthony the hug, before running back to his seat.
According to the report, an usher lost her job over the incident, and a New Orleans police officer will no longer be allowed to work security at the arena.
“So, essentially, what happened there is that you get two people who were not doing their responsibilities and that led to a black eye for us as the building operator,” said Al Freeman, general manager of the Smoothie King Center and the Superdome. “So what we have done since then is …replaced those two people who failed to do their jobs — the usher and the police officer.”
“That’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for somebody to run up to you and give you a hug,” said Anthony, who appeared surprised by the hug but kindly tapped the child on the head during the incident. “Especially if it’s a kid. That’s the way I look at it.”