Longtime Jazz fan gives NBA the silent treatment

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) - Dr. Richard Anderson is usually the most vocal fan at Energy Solutions Arena but during Monday night's Jazz-Bulls game, he sat quietly with a piece of blue tape over his mouth, a silent protest after the NBA told him not to do anything that the opposing team could find distracting.

"Not knowing for sure what could be considered distracting," Dr. Anderson said. "I felt like I should probably put a piece of tape over my mouth so I didn't say anything that could be considered distracting by the other team."

The Salt Lake City plastic surgeon, known by some as Dr. Heckle, has been a season ticket holder for 27 years. He's a colorful fixture underneath one of the baskets, often using his "bag of tricks": posters, rubber chickens and megaphones to distract opposing players while they attempt free throws. He was recently told by the Jazz that his use of props was a violation of the NBA Fan Code of Conduct but on the Jazz website it doesn't say anything about props, only foul or abusive language, throwing objects and obscene messages, all of which Anderson says he's never done. He suspects a conspiracy.

"I think the Commissioner and the NBA Central Office have taken control of who they want to win and who makes them the most money," Dr. Anderson said. "What really upset 'em was when I was twirling my umbrella when LeBron James was shooting free throws. If it was one of our guys in a different arena probably they wouldn't have cared so much about it."

For now, Dr. Anderson will continue to give the NBA the silent treatment.

"If I'm supposed to sit on my hands or not do anything maybe I'll start spending more time at you know the ballet, movies, the orchestra," Dr. Anderson said.

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