The moment came across as cute and sweet, as the kid was simply showing affection toward his hero.
But it could have been nasty had the kid been carrying a weapon or was attempting to do some harm. Hey, in this day and age, you never know.
That's precisely why Alan Freeman, the general manager of New Orleans's Smoothie King Center, took some extreme action to teach his personnel a lesson.
According to NOLA.com, Freeman and the Smoothie King Center's management showed team ushers the notorious footage of former tennis player Monica Seles being stabbed in the back on the court by a crazed fan during a 1993 match in Germany. If that doesn't drive home the point about how dangerous storming the court could be, nothing will.
"Thankfully, it was just a young boy who wanted to get closer to maybe one of his idols," Freeman told the website. "But it could have been something a lot more serious. They all understand that now."
He added that the slacking usher working that night has lost her job and the local cop that was used won't be called back to work future games.
"So essentially what happened there is that you get two people who were not doing their responsibilities and that led to a black eye for us as the building operator," Freeman said. "So what we have done since then is first of all, we obviously replaced those two people who failed to do their jobs — the usher and the police officer."
Although Melo took the moment in stride, even embracing the kid himself, he too expressed concerns over possible repeat incidents of fans running onto the court with players not knowing their intentions.
"I was shocked. I didn't really know who it was until I actually looked over and saw that it was a kid," he told ESPN on the night of the incident last week. "I think it was because he was a little kid, they just let him go. Definitely a security issue, though, for sure."
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(Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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