Russell Westbrook might have been frustrated after his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, lost to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. However, an overexcited fan blocking his path to the locker room certainly didn’t help matters much and caused a bit of a controversy on the court.
According to a Feb. 2 report by ESPN, Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder lost in the final seconds of the game thanks to a buzzer-beating shot by Denver Nuggets player Gary Harris. In the moments after the game ended, the crowd was buzzing in celebration of their team’s big win, and one over-eager fan went a bit too far and stepped on to the court in front of Westbrook while cheering loudly in his face.
During the confrontation, Russell Westbrook mostly kept his cool but did shove the hooting fan back out of the way as the man continued to celebrate by yelling and clapping his hands. There was no retaliation by the fan, and security was extremely late in handling the situation. In fact, the Nuggets fan had already walked off the court by the time security reached Westbrook.
Later, Russell Westbrook spoke about the incident, revealing that he felt like he needed to push the fan away in order to protect himself, adding that while he understands that the spectators are there to enjoy the game, it is “totally unacceptable” for them to come out onto the floor, adding that the players need to be protected in situations like that.
Westbrook also revealed that he knew the NBA would review the footage and decide what they think is the best way to handle the situation. However, he believes that he was simply protecting himself from a fan, who really could have done anything to Russell at that moment.
The NBA currently has a policy that ensures that any fan can and will be ejected from a game if they attempt to enter the court. The violation may also result in arrest, prosecution, or the revoking of season tickets with no refund.
The NBA is currently reviewing the video of Russell Westbrook pushing the fan after the Oklahoma City loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.