A wild brawl erupted between professional basketball players and opposing fans in China on Thursday.

Liaoning Leopards players were returning to their hotel after succumbing to the Sichuan Blue Whales 109-104 in game three of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) finals when they were confronted by Blue Whales fans. Those fans then began heckling them and invading their personal space.

According to Shark Fin Hoops, the brawl allegedly started when family members of the returning Leopards team leapt to the side's defence in response to insulting comments made by the waiting supporters.

Then all hell broke loose, and hotel security was powerless to do anything.


While the melee initially erupted between fans and family members, Leopards players dressed in their black team tracksuits quickly became involved, trying to break up the fight before appearing to throw punches themselves.

One man appeared to deliver an attempted kick before falling on his back, while at least a couple of times when the action looked to be subsiding, a Leopards player ran back into the crowd to continue his confrontation with Blue Whales faithful.

One man, reportedly a security guard at the hotel, was shown holding his head while being helped into the back of an ambulance.

The fracas was filmed and uploaded to Youtube.

A violent altercation with fans brings with it a minimum eight week ban according to CBA rules, as reported by Shark Fin Hoops.

Both teams contain former NBA players Shavlik Randolph, Mike Harris, Justin Denton and Lester Hudson - who is caught briefly on camera looking confused by what's unfolding in front of him.

The Sichuan Blue Whales' win gave them a 2-1 advantage over the Liaoning Leopards in their best-of-seven series.

The most notable brawl between players and fans was dubbed "Malice at the Palace" and occurred during an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons in Michigan in November 2004.

A scuffle originally broke out between the players, before someone in the stands threw a drink at Pacers forward Ron Artest - now known as Metta World Peace - who then climbed into the stands, sparking the massive fight that spilled onto the court.

Numerous players copped lengthy suspensions and hefty fines, while some fans were banned from The Palace for life.

- news.com.au