The Sichuan Blue Whales defeated the Liaoning Leopards in game 3 of the Chinese Basketball Association finals by 109-104 on March 16, but the night wasn't over for the visiting Leopards (video below).
When the Leopards got off their team bus outside a hotel, they were met by some Whales fans and a brawl quickly started. One player who stayed out of the fight was current Leopard and ex-NBA player Lester Hudson, notes Deadspin.
The Whales lead the Leopards 2-1 in the series, so it doesn't make sense that would trigger the Whales fans.
Some of the theories circulated by the Chinese media explain the brawl, reports website Basketball Buddha.
The first scenario is that Leopards player Liaoning PG Guo Ailun pushed a Whales fan after the game, the fan went to the hotel, tried to shove Ailun's parents, and the older folks told the Leopards, who subsequently sought payback from the fan, causing other fans to join in.
The second theory is that the Leopards asked to have security at their hotel, but Whales officials failed to provide it and the fight broke out at the hotel entrance.
One common factor is a man in a red Leopards jacket who apparently started the fight.
According to CBA rules, the Whales could lose the championship based on some passages flagged by Basketball Buddha: "During the season, if a competition venue disturbs the players by assaulting and other serious violations of law by the public security and judicial process whether it’s other athletes or other persons, the organizers will be given, depending on the seriousness of the event, a suspension of 8-10 games, in serious cases, cancel the season altogether."
"If a member of the coaching staff or the club perform a misconduct, given its reprimand, there will be a suspension of 2-5 games and a fine of [$300,000 to $775,000]."
Basketball Buddha notes that the rules will not likely be enforced by the CBA.