Why Chris Paul fired back at Celtics fan who heckled Emanuel Terry

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Why Chris Paul fired back at C's fan who heckled Suns teammate originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

A note to NBA fans: Heckle Chris Paul's teammates at your own risk.

According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, the veteran Suns guard heard a few fans yell insults at Emanuel Terry during Friday's game against the Boston Celtics, including calling Phoenix's recent 10-day hardship signing a "one-day guy."

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That insult apparently struck a nerve with Paul, who turned around and called the fans out by telling them to "respect this player who is helping to keep our season alive," per Haynes.

"I want to (say) thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the players with 10-day contracts who stay ready," Paul told Haynes when asked about the exchange. "You are the reason we're making it through this season, and we couldn't do it without you."

Paul raises a fair point: Players signed to 10-day hardship exceptions have been essential this season, filling the roster spots of guys in health and safety protocols as COVID's Omicron variant has swept through the NBA.

Well over 500 players have appeared in at least one game this season (a new NBA record), and the Celtics have signed multiple players to hardship deals (Joe Johnson, Justin Jackson, C.J. Miles) to avoid postponing games.

The heckling fans probably weren't thinking about all this while taking in Friday's game, a rousing Celtics victory. But after the dust settled, at least one fan remedied the situation.

"I talked to Terry, and he told me the heckler sent him a DM apologizing after the game," Haynes said.

We'll give props to everyone involved here: to Paul for sticking up for his teammate, to Terry for doing his best to help the Suns when called upon and to the fan who apologized after considering the context of their heckling.