(Reuters) – A Brooklyn Nets security official who stepped onto the court and appeared to shove Milwaukee Bucks’ P.J. Tucker during a game has been barred by the NBA from the team’s Eastern Conference semi-finals matches in Milwaukee, U.S. media reported.
The incident happened in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s 86-83 win at Fiserv Forum on Thursday when the official stepped in to separate Tucker and the Nets’ Kevin Durant following a heated conversation between the two players after a foul.
The guard will also be stood down from court area duties in Brooklyn during the series, ESPN reported.
“My reaction to it or how did it happen, and to be frank and honest, in the heat of the moment I have no idea who that guy is with or who he is affiliated with,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters on Saturday.
The Athletic reported that the official had previously worked as Durant’s personal bodyguard.
“In the heat of the moment, you know people are coming to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a problem than what we’re trying to address or de-escalate,” Budenholzer added.
“And in the 24 to 48 hours since if it’s a Nets security guy and he’s bumping our player, that doesn’t seem like that’s the protocol and what we’d expect from any type of security … I don’t think you want to bump and escalate things.”
The Nets lead the basketball series 2-1 ahead of Sunday’s Game 4 in Milwaukee.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)