"He hit me"
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook spoke with a young fan at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Tuesday night and briefly lectured the child after receiving an unwanted shove on the sidelines. Westbrook tallied 22 points and nine assists in Oklahoma City's 121-112 loss to the Nuggets.
Westbrook lept out of bounds on the left sideline late in the third quarter on Tuesday, landing close to a young fan sitting courtside. The fan then reached out and gave Westbrook a slight shove, catching the attention of the 2016-17 MVP.
Watch Westbrook's interaction with the young fan below:
Westbrook addressed his conversation with the fan postgame.
“He hit me, so I told his dad, ‘be careful, man, you can’t have your son just hitting random people,'" Westbrook told reporters postgame. "I don’t know him, he don’t know me. So, just letting him know, ‘you’ve just got to control your kids.' 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."
Tuesday didn't mark Westbrook's first altercation with a fan in Denver. Westbrook pushed a Nuggets fan at the Pepsi Center in Feb. 2018, but was not disciplined by the league.
Oklahoma City fell to 38–22 following Tuesday's defeat. The Thunder are third in the West, four games back of Denver for the No. 2 seed.