Russell Westbrook bemoans fan conduct after incident with youngster
Russell Westbrook was involved in a run-in with a young Denver Nuggets fan during Tuesday’s game at Pepsi Center, and the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar said afterward that protocols need to be put in place so such things do not occur.
The incident in question happened late in the 3rd quarter when the youngster appeared to make contact with Westbrook after a whistle. While things seemed to wrap up without much animosity, the Thunder guard nevertheless took a moment to interact with both the young fan and the boy’s father.
Russell Westbrook pulled the dad card on a Nuggets fan after the kid gave him a little push. pic.twitter.com/b4nBTXlV9r— ESPN (@espn) February 27, 2019
After the game, Westbrook bemoaned how fans feel emboldened enough that they believe such contact is acceptable.
“For all fans, though, there’s too much leeway for the fans to be able to touch the players and get away with it, and then you can’t react and do the things that we need to do to protect ourselves,” Westbrook said, via The Oklahoman’s Maddie Lee. “… But I can’t do nothing. What am I going to do, hop in the stands? But there has to be some type of rule or some type of boundaries set that you can’t allow that.”
Russell Westbrook on the courtside incident with the kid pic.twitter.com/3qHODHPn8w— Brady Trantham (@BradyDoesSports) February 27, 2019
Westbrook noted in his postgame comments that he was unaware that it was a child who made contact with him in the heat of the moment, but argued in the end it’s inappropriate regardless of the age of the fan.
“He [the kid] hit me, so I told his dad, ‘Be careful, man. You can’t have your son just hitting random people,” Westbrook said. “‘I don’t know him, he don’t know me. So, just letting him know, ‘You’ve just got to control your kids.'”
Westbrook previously has railed against fans’ ability to do the kind of things that occurred Tuesday night. Last season, Westbrook said how a fan was able to walk on to the court and confront him during a game was “totally unacceptable.”