Things took a turn for the ugly on Monday night as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook got involved in a heated exchange with an NBA fan, and the fan’s wife.
Towards the end of the second quarter, Westbrook, who was seated at the end of the Oklahoma City bench, began shouting at a fan in the stands. Westbrook could be heard repeatedly saying, “I’ll f*ck you up! You and your wife!”
Things get heated between Russell Westbrook and Utah Jazz fans again. “I’ll f*ck you up. You and your wife,” he says. Not sure what these fans said to him, but he also had issues with Jazz fans during the postseason. pic.twitter.com/LquwRmLVNy
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) March 12, 2019
Westbrook was unapologetic for the exchange. Claiming that the fan set made “racial” and “inappropriate” statements. Specifically, Westbrook claims the man told him to “get down on your knees like you’re used to.”
Westbrook told reporters:
For me, I’m just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family. I just think there’s got to be something done. 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 — not just to me, but I don’t think it’s fair to the players.
And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same. So that’s kind of where I’m at with the whole situation. As for beating up his wife, I have never put my hand on a woman; I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before. Never have before, but once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me as well. So that’s kind of how that started. I know you guys only got the tail end of the video, but the start of the video is way more important and way more disrespectful than what you guys heard.
The fan involved in the altercation, Shane Keisel, denied that he swore at Westbrook or made any type of inappropriate reference. Keisel claims the confrontation began when he told Westbrook (whose knees were heavily wrapped) to “ice those knees up.” The Thunder guard responded by saying he was getting heat, not ice. Keisel claims he then said, “You’re going to need it.” Keisel also claims his wife never said anything to Westbrook.
At this point, according to the 45-year-old fan, Westbrook became irate.
“He just went nuts,” Keisel explained to ESPN. “She never got up. She never stood up. She never said a word to him. I mean, it’s all fine, we’re having fun and games with the guy and we’re talking, but at the end of the day, no man should threaten a woman, period.
“I’m not afraid of the guy. Come on up. But when you threaten a woman that’s 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, you’re a big man. So this guy needs to be exposed.”
Keisel, along with several other Jazz fans, were issued warning cards by the NBA for “excessive verbal abuse.”
— Ute Believer (@UteBeliever) March 12, 2019
The Jazz issued a statement following the game:
We are continuing to investigate the unfortunate exchange at tonight’s game between Russell Westbrook and fans. Multiple warning cards were issued by arena security. Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment. If it is determined that any fans violated the NBA Code of Conduct, appropriate action will be taken.
The Thunder won the game, 98-89.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn