Watch: Fan lights up Russell Westbrook about 1 thing every NBA star is guilty of
Whining at the referees is a tradition in the NBA, with seemingly every player adopting a toddler-like “I didn’t do anything” face whenever he’s called for a foul.
And during Utah’s Game 3 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, one Jazz fan got tired of Russell Westbrook taking out his frustrations on the officiating crew.
Trouble is, the fan’s trash talk game didn’t exactly measure up to the likes of Scottie Pippen or Muhammad Ali.
“Hey Westbrook, why don’t you bring a pacifier, you’re always whining!” the fan could be heard saying during the second quarter of the Jazz’s 115-102 win.
No foul language, no inappropriate remarks about Westbrook’s family — just the phrase, “bring a pacifier.”
Of course, Westbrook is far from the only NBA player who gets angry about referee calls.
The league normally prescribes a $25,000 fine to a player or coach who complains to the media about the quality of officiating. It’s a mandate that plenty of players, coaches and even owners — Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks comes to mind — often don’t hesitate to ignore.
Moreover, former San Antonio Spurs superstar Tim Duncan is possibly better known for the Duncan Face he made at the referees than he is for being a future Hall of Famer and five-time NBA champion.
The tension between players and referees is so palpable that the league recently reshuffled its ranks as far as “who watches the watchmen” in the league office is concerned, making several personnel moves designed to defuse this tension.
And this season has seen plenty of high-profile ejections, including the first of LeBron James’ 15-year career, while the formerly mild-mannered Kevin Durant has started racking up technical fouls.
Things were even worse last season. In 2016-17, 69 players were tossed out of games.
The fans are understandably tired of it, and in truth, they’ve felt this way for years.
This is not a case of the players having a legitimate beef, as they should have in the 1990s and early 2000s when crooked refs like Tim Donaghy conspired to fix games.
This is just a case of players whining at the referees for no reason other than frustration.
While Westbrook nearly recorded a triple-double on Saturday (14 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists), he did so on 5-of-17 shooting in a game his team lost by 13 points.
So to an extent, it’s not surprising to hear a fan screaming that he needs a pacifier. At the very least, Twitter and the sports media got to have a good laugh at a mediocre insult.
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