NBA Announcers Shame Parents As Kid Rushes Court To Hug A Player

by Ashley Austrew

This kid rushed into a basketball game to give Carmelo Anthony a hug

Kids do the darnedest things, and last night one little boy likely gave his mother a heart attack when he rushed the court at an NBA game to hug his hero, Carmelo Anthony. It happened during the final minute of the New York Knicks’ loss to the Pelicans, and it was a sweet moment, but the game’s commentators have sparked a debate over the incident after they decided to criticize the kid’s parents on air.

The hug happened during a stoppage in play, when the boy apparently slipped away from his mom — we’ve all been there — and somehow got through security. In footage from the game, he’s shown running up and wrapping his arms around Anthony, before getting shooed off the court by an official and running back to his embarrassed mom.

Anthony, unfazed by the incident, pats the kid on the head affectionately and smiles. It’s the commentators who can’t seem to get over the split-second intrusion. As the boy returns to his mom, they can be heard saying, “Unfortunately, there’s a kid on the court.” Then, referring to the boy’s parents, one says with disgust, “Wow, they just let him do that?”

The comments have sparked a debate among fans. Some see the boy’s hug as a “security issue” and wonder why his parents didn’t better try to control him, while others think the commentators were wrong to call out the kid’s parents. Luckily, the latter seem to outnumber the former. In a discussion on USA Today‘s Facebook page, many chided the game’s announcers for parent-shaming and making something out of nothing:

“Really! ‘They just let him do that?’ He’s a child. Give him a break. And by the way. Pay attention to the mother. He ran away from her. And if anyone of you have children. You know that they sometimes get away.”
“‘they (the parents) just let that happen? wow!’ yeah, kids do shit all the time. it’s almost like they’re actual people. that’s why we can’t tie them down to things and we occasionally have to smack them up the back of the head. [sic]”
“The commentators are so dumb. Why does everything have to come down to ‘parent shaming’ kids are their own people and not all parents are bad parents [sic]. These days it’s like any kid that is not 100% compliant to everything, it’s the parents fault and not the kids.”

Carmelo Anthony agreed it could be a potential security issue, but said he responded the way he did because it was just a kid. “That’s never happened… I was shocked. I didn’t really know who was it until I actually looked over and saw that it was a kid,” said Anthony. “I think it was because he was a little kid, they just let him go.”

Obviously, fans running out onto the court isn’t an ideal situation, but let’s not blow this out of proportion. In the video, the kid’s mom is obviously embarrassed and even thumps him on the head as she ushers him out of the stands. It’s not like some negligent parent just let their kid run wild. The kid was in front of his heroes, he got excited, and he acted on a childish impulse before his mom could stop him. My kid does that in the toy section at Target every other week. This just happened to be in front of the whole world.

In the grand scheme of things, a kid running out onto the court during a break in play isn’t that big of a deal, and the game’s commentators could certainly stand to lighten up. Kids will be kids, and while that’s not an excuse for everything, it’s more than acceptable as a reason to brush off this incredibly unique situation in which absolutely no one got hurt. I’d much rather see a happy kid hug his hero than listen to some grumpy old men talk about basketball anyway.