One of the appealing things about “courtside” seats in the NBA is the simple proximity to the court. Fans are right on top of the action, and there is really nothing that compares to the experience of seeing a high-level professional basketball game with that vantage point. One of the potential hiccups of sitting close to the floor, though, is that fans often have to be wary of being part of the action if a player tumbles into the stands or the basketball is fired in an errant direction. While fans beyond the first row usually don’t have to worry that, there was an exception involving Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood and a local fan in Charlotte on Monday.
Late in the first half and with the Rockets trailing the Hornets, Wood gathered a defensive rebound and looked to make something happen with an aggressive outlet pass. That might have been a good idea if executed properly but, instead, Wood uncorked a pass that was nowhere close to its intended direction, and a fan was struck by the ball at a high speed, even as they were walking behind the second row.
Christian Wood nailed a fan with an errant pass pic.twitter.com/Au16h722bF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 28, 2021
The first hope here is that the fan is okay, and that seems to be the case, at least on the initial television replay. Granting that, this is about as rough of a pass as you’ll see during an NBA game, and it was also extremely unlucky for the fan that the ball was heading in that particular direction. Wood was clearly not thrilled with himself, but perhaps this is also a reminder that everyone within 10 feet of the floor has to keep his or her head on a swivel at all times during live action.