The Dallas Mavericks announced on Monday that they have banned two "unruly fans" who "attempted to give unwanted hugs" to members of Chris Paul's family on Sunday.
The ban remains in place for the remainder of the postseason. The fans will be allowed back for Mavericks home games in 2023.
"American Airlines Center and Dallas Mavericks security and executives have concluded the investigation into the incident involving the Paul family," a Mavericks statement reads. "Two unruly fans attempted to give unwanted hugs and have conversations with members of the Paul family on the public concourse of American Airlines Center.
"AAC security responded immediately once notified by the family, and the fans were swiftly ejected from the game. The fans involved in the incident will not be allowed to return to the arena until 2023."
The announcement concludes a team investigation prompted after Paul complained about fans putting their "hands on" his family during Sunday's Game 4 in Dallas between the Mavericks and his Phoenix Suns.
"Wanna fine players for saying stuff to the fans but the fans can put they hands on our families... . f*** that!!" Paul tweeted.
Paul didn't provide any more details about the incident involving his family. The Mavericks didn't expound on the interaction beyond what was written in Monday's statement. The fans were not publicly identified.
After Monday's games on TNT, Kenny Smith shared what Paul's mother alleged happened Sunday night.
On TNT, Kenny Smith says that Chris Paul’s mother, Robin, reached out to explain what happened with the young Dallas fan. She said the fan was obviously inebriated and kept tapping her on the shoulder and wishing her happy Mother’s Day, even after she politely asked him to stop.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) May 10, 2022
ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported on Sunday after Paul's tweet that the incident involved Paul's mother and wife and that his children witnessed it.
A source familiar with Chris Paul's tweet after Game 4 told ESPN that Paul's mother had hands put on her by Dallas fans and Paul's wife was also pushed. To make matters worse, Paul's kids witnessed it. "They felt very unsafe," the source said.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 8, 2022
Video appeared to show Paul telling security staff and police "he put his hands on my mom."
You can read Chris Paul's lips here, clear as day, saying "he put his hands on my mom, he put his hands on my mom."
Paul tweeted just a few minutes ago, taking issue with Dallas fans putting their hands on his family. pic.twitter.com/9DA0ZPqAEA
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) May 9, 2022
The Mavericks announced on Sunday that they had ejected the fans prior to Monday's announcement of their temporary ban.
Suns coach Monty Williams addressed the issue on Monday, and said he felt that families may need to start sitting in special sections at arenas.
"It's a hard one, because it's happening more and more," Williams said, via ESPN. "The situations are getting to a place now where I really feel like families, who are there to support their loved ones, need to be protected a bit more. Whether or not we have to give these people a section, a suite, something has to be done.
"Because we can't wait for it to get to a level or two higher, before we do what we need to do. Yesterday was unnecessary."
The Western Conference semifinals series between the Suns and Mavericks is tied at 2-2 after Dallas won Game 4, meaning that the Mavericks will host Game 6 on Thursday. If the Suns win the series, the ban could amount to just one game for the fans. Keeping them out of the building while Paul and his family are present during an increasingly chippy playoff series appears to be the top priority.