Since the Thunder announced that guard Russell Westbrook would be out for the remainder of the playoffs with a torn meniscus, Rockets guard Patrick Beverley has been getting his share of criticism via social media. It was Beverley who ran into Westbrook going for a steal in the second quarter of the Thunder's Game 2 105-102 victory. Westbrook stayed in the game and played 37 minutes, scoring 29 points. The Thunder lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a ballboy for the Thunder sent death threats to Beverley via Twitter, but then later deleted those tweets. Even Thunder head coach Scott Brooks and forward Kevin Durant defended Beverley saying it wasn't a dirty play.
From the Houston Chronicle:
The vitriol about the play in which Thunder star Russell Westbrook was hurt has escalated to death threats directed at Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, including one from someone that describes himself as a Thunder ballboy.
Mitchell Brown sent a tweet that threatened, “Patrick Beverly (sic), I'm coming to kill you.” He sent another using Beverley's Twitter handle; “@pavbev21 I'm coming to kill you.”
Capt. Dexter Nelson, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said officers in conjunction with the Houston Police Department and the NBA are looking into what he described as “Internet threats.”
Thunder spokesperson Matt Tumbleson said, “We do not condone his comments. He works game nights on a voluntary basis. We will handle this matter internally.”
Shortly after Thunder officials were told of the tweets, Brown deleted them with an apology:
“Yesterday I posted something completely Inappropriate and I need to apologize. I was out of line and it will not happen again.”
He later removed that tweet and instead said his account was hacked. “@patbev21 yesterday someone tweeted on my account making a death threat towards you and it wasn't me. I apologize.”