The NBA In-Season Tournament game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night had a scary moment when Donovan Mitchell accidentally hurt a kid while diving for a loose ball. The incident happened in the third quarter with around five minutes left to go, when Mitchell chased a deflected pass and dove into the crowd, directly into a kid who was sitting in the front row.
Arena staff immediately went to check on Mitchell, who seemed to be okay. He got up and walked back to the court, while the kid appeared to be crying in pain. It was not clear what type of injury Mitchell caused the kid to sustain when he dove into the crowd. All things considered everyone got lucky, because Donovan Mitchell could have crushed the kid with the force he was diving into the crowd, but no one got seriously hurt.
After the incident, Mitchell went to apologize to the kid and make sure he was okay. Chris Paul, who plays for the Warriors and is a close friend of Mitchell, also came over to check on the young fan and comfort him. The kid seemed to appreciate the attention from the NBA stars, as he shook their hands. It was still easy to see he was in some pain from the accident.
The situation showed the dangers of sitting courtside close to the action of an NBA game, as players often hustle and dive for loose balls, sometimes crashing into the fans. While most of the time, the fans enjoy the thrill of being close to their favorite players, sometimes they can also get hurt by the physicality of the game.
The NBA has tried to improve the safety of the fans by adding more padding and barriers around the court, but there is still a risk of injury for those who sit in the front row.