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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NBA: Official throws basketball at fan in Game 2


By Shannon J. Owens
The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. Players were not the only ones getting physical on the Amway Arena court. The NBA will review a confrontation between veteran referee Joe DeRosa and a fan that occurred at halftime.

Referees DeRosa, Marc Davis and Bill Kennedy walked to the scorer's table at midcourt after the second quarter to retrieve their jackets to a chorus of boos and fans chanting "Refs you suck."

One fan, Wyndham Vacation Ownership CEO Franz Hanning, heckled the refs from behind the scorer's table and DeRosa threw a ball at Hanning, who then threw it back at DeRosa.

DeRosa called over Amway Arena security officials, who relocated the fan to another seat. DeRosa has officiated over 1,000 regular season games and 75 playoff games and five NBA Finals according to basketballrefs.com.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank, who attended the game, told The Orlando Sentinel that the league was aware of the situation, which was replayed on ESPN's telecast.

"The situation will be reviewed after the game," Frank said.

Hanning, 55, is an Orlando resident and an acquaintance of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.