Russell Westbrook got into a heated verbal altercation with a fan and the man’s wife during the second quarter of Oklahoma City’s 98-89 victory over Utah on Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Early in the quarter, Westbrook stood up from the bench when the fans directed a racial taunt at him, he said.
According to the Thunder guard, they told him to “get down on my knees like I used to.”
After that, Westbrook was seen on video cursing at the man and threatening him and his wife.
“I promise you. You think I’m playing? I swear to God. I swear to God. I’ll f— you up … you and your wife. I’ll f— you up,” he said.
The fan said in a TV interview that neither he nor his wife cursed at Westbrook.
He said he had told Westbrook to “sit down and ice your knees, bro.”
Shane Keisel, the Jazz fan who was involved in a verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook during the Jazz loss to the Thunder, explains his side of what happened. @KSL5TV @kslsports #nba pic.twitter.com/ScCSRttTCg
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) March 12, 2019
Westbrook expressed concern following the game with the verbal abuse he and teammates have received from fans on the road.
Much of it has been directed at their families, according to Westbrook.
“There’s got to be something done,” Westbrook said. “There’s got to be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I don’t think it’s fair to the players.”
Full statement from Russell Westbrook on the interaction with a fan at the game tonight: pic.twitter.com/UzEfmVmEHC
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 12, 2019
Westbrook recently objected to a young fan touching him on the sideline during a game.
Jazz security issued multiple warning cards to fans in the area, and the team issued a postgame statement saying that it will be investigating the exchange between Westbrook and fans.
“Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment,” the Jazz statement said. “If it is determined that any fans violated the NBA Code of Conduct, appropriate action will be taken.”
Westbrook’s teammates came to his defense following the game.
Raymond Felton, who did not play, sat near him on the bench when the altercation took place. Felton confirmed he also heard the taunts that had been directed at Westbrook.
“He’s not coming off and talking to the fans, just saying stuff to them and just blurting out words,” Felton said. “He’s not. They’re coming at him first. When is there going to be a point where there’s going to be protecting those players? People can say whatever what they want to say us during games and yell out stuff and talk about our families and talk about our kids.”
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.