You can't legally punch a man for calling you the N-word. Not on a basketball court, not in the streets, not in a house, not with a mouse. ESPN has been mangling the fighting words doctrine all weekend. It's there to discourage dueling, not to give people a license to brawl.
Don't get me wrong, I've shoved people who called me the N-word. But let's be clear, what one can do and what one is allowed to do are often two different things...
For the purposes of this article, let's assume that Texas Tech super fan Jeff Orr said the worst possible thing to Marcus Smart. Orr has his version and Smart has his version and a lot of commentators seem to think that it's terribly important who said what. If you are interested in labeling Smart as a "bad guy" or a "frustrated kid," I suppose it does. But legally it really doesn't matter. Ouchy words are not legal justification for assault.