Brawl erupts as players and fans clash after game 3

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) finals would not be normal without some sort of fight. The league is notorious for its “don’t hold me back” moments. But this year, they might have taken it too far.

The Sichuan Blue Whales hosted the Liaoning Leopards for game 3 of the 2016 CBA finals on Wednesday night where they took a 2-1 series lead beating the visiting Leopards by a score of 109-104. The game was over, but the drama was just getting started.

As the Liaoning Leopards got on the bus and headed back to the hotel, they were “welcomed” by an army of Sichuan fans. As the team got off the bus, a guy in a red jacket started yelling at the crowd trying to knock phones out of people’s hands. That’s when all hell broke loose.

There are various reports out of China that give answers to the question “why?”.

First rumor: Liaoning PG Guo Ailun shoved a Sichuan fan after the game, so that fan rushed to the hotel to meet him there. That fan saw the starting point guard’s parents and attempted to shove them like their son allegedly did to him/them. When the parents notified the team, players got off the bus seeking revenge. .

Second rumor: While this might be very true, it doesn’t really answer the question “why did the fight happen in the first place?”. Liaoning team officials requested security at the hotel. This is a very normal request in China, especially in Xinjiang where Stephon Marbury was once attacked. Sichuan officials failed to meet Liaoning’s request causing an overflow of Sichuan fans waiting at the hotel. Once the guy in the red jacket (Liaoning guy) starting going crazy, it ignited the rage and all hell broke loose.

In the CBA rule book, a section is dedicated for this type of event. It reads:

Chapter II, Article 10: During the season, if a competition venue disturbs the players by assaulting and other serious violations of law by the public security and judicial process whether it’s other athletes or other persons , the organizers will be given, depending on the seriousness of the event, a suspension of 8-10 games, in serious cases, cancel the season altogether.

Chapter III, Article 11: If a member of the coaching staff or the club perform a misconduct, given its reprimand, there will be a suspension of 2-5 games and a fine of 2-5 million RMB.

So this means the Blue Whales could most likely lose the championship, according to the rules. But since these rules were written by the CBA, and knowing their track record, nothing will really come of this.

The show must go on.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of

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