Westbrook irate after Sixers fan throws popcorn at him originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Russell Westbrook was headed back to the locker room after sustaining what appeared to be an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Game 2 against the Sixers.
But before he could get all the way into the tunnel, a Sixers fan hurled a box of popcorn at the Wizards star. He was not happy about it.
After the incident, the in-arena announcer instructed fans not to throw objects of any kind onto the court. Whether the fan was ejected is unknown as of now.
This isn't the first time a Wizards point guard had an issue with a Sixers fan. Just last season, Isaiah Thomas went into the stands to confront a fan who hurled curse words at him for making a free throw.
It wasn't Westbrook's first issue with a Sixers fan either, as we've all seen the video of a fan standing up to give him the middle finger in the middle of a game in 2017.
Wednesday's incident was literally an insult to injury. Afterward, Westbrook was understandably upset and said it spoke to a larger problem of the NBA not protecting its players from unruly crowds.
"To be completely honest, man, this s--- is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f--- they want to do, it’s [wrong]. Any other setting, I’m all for the fans enjoying the game and having fun. It’s part of sports, I get it. But there are certain things that cross the line. Any other setting, I know for a fact they wouldn’t come up, a guy wouldn’t come up on the street and pour popcorn on my head because they know what would happen. A guy wouldn’t come up to me talking about my family and my kids on the street because the response would be different," Westbrook said.
"The arena’s have gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does, but there’s a huge problem for us as players, and for me, where fans they say whatever and the consequences for me are a lot more [detrimental] for me than the fans in the stands because they’re untouchable. They can say what they want at a sporting event and they enjoy the game. But what a lot of fans don’t realize is this is my job. I don’t just play, this is something I love to do, it’s something I compete at. So, to get food thrown on top of me, it’s just bulls---, really."
Westbrook went on to say he thinks there should be penalties for fans who do cross the line. While there were some reports the fan was ejected, Westbrook said he asked security and was told the fan had run out of the stadium to evade authorities.