Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook got into an verbal altercation with a fan in Utah.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook got into an verbal altercation with a fan in Utah on Monday and used profanity in the incident with the heckler.
It's unclear what prompted the altercation, but video showed Westbrook respond to fans by saying, "I'll f--- you up. You and your wife."
Warning, this video contains explicit language.
According to the Deseret News' Eric Woodyard, five Jazz fans received "warning cards" that their comments, gestures and/or behaviors directed at players were in violation of the league's Fan Code of Conduct. They were able to return to their seats after the altercation as Oklahoma City exited with a 98-89 victory.
Westbrook addressed the altercation postgame.
"How it started was, a young man and his wife in the stands told me 'to get down on my knees like you used to,'" Westbrook told reporters. "To me, that’s just completely disrespectful, to me, I think it’s racial, and I think it’s inappropriate and insensitive."
Salt Lake City NBC 5 reporter Jeremiah Jensen spoke to the fan in question following Monday's game. Jazz fan Shane Keisel said he and Westbrook were originally "having fun," prior to Westbrook's expletives toward the stands.
"Me and him, we and him were actually having fun to be honest," Keisel said. "And then it turned into not safe for work ... I never said a single swear word to him, not one. Initially, I was like, 'Oh, I'm talking with Westbrook, the guy is one of the greats. He's also classless."
The Jazz released a statement on Monday night regarding the "unfortunate exchange." Utah said it will take "appropriate action" if any fan is deemed to have violated the league's code of conduct.
Thunder forward Patrick Patterson tweeted about the incident postgame.
Fans can say shit about a mans family, wife, & kids.. Tell a player “Get down on your knees like your use to.” As men, what do you expect us to do? Shut up & dribble? No one is held accountable for their actions except for us. Fans are protected in every way possible but not us.— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) March 12, 2019
It's not the first time things have gotten heated in Utah. Westbrook was fined after slapping a phone out of a fan's hand during the 2018 NBA Playoffs
"I don’t confront fans," Westbrook said last year. "Fans confront me. Here in Utah, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here. With these fans, it’s truly disrespectful. Talking about your families, your kids. It’s just a disrespect to the game. I think it’s something that needs to be brought up."
Keisel tweeted about Westbrook on the same night of his 2018 incident in Utah.
"Westbrook is a piece of classless s---." Kiesel tweeted. "Somebody needs to kick his a--."
Westbrook and the Thunder improved to 41–26 on Monday night. They are fourth in the West. The Jazz are now No. 8 at 37–29.