- Russell Westbrook got into an ugly confrontation with a Utah Jazz fan named Shane Keisel on Monday.
- Video posted to Twitter showed Westbrook telling the man, "I’ll f— you up. You and your wife, I’ll f— you up."
- After the game, Westbrook said the man told him to "get on your knees liked you’re used to," which Westbrook said was "racial" and "inappropriate." Several Thunder players defended Westbrook and backed his account.
- Keisel said after the game that he and his wife never said anything derogatory to provoke Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook got into an ugly confrontation with a Utah Jazz fan on Monday in which he threatened the man and his wife.
The incident came in the second quarter, when a courtside video posted to Twitter showed Westbrook standing up and yelling at the fan, 45-year-old Shane Keisel.
"I’m going to tell you one thing, I’ll f— him up if he says that s— again. I promise you," Westbrook said to a security guard.
"I promise you. You think I’m playing," Westbrook then said to Keisel. "I swear to God. I swear to God, I’ll f— you up. You and your wife, I’ll f— you up. I promise you, on everything I love."
After the game, Westbrook told reporters that the fan told him to "get down on your knees like you’re used to." Westbrook called the comments "racial" and "inappropriate."
Here is the video of the confrontation (Warning: explicit language):
According to reports, five fans received warning cards notifying them that their conduct violated the NBA’s rules. They were allowed to stay at the game.
"For me, I’m just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family," Westbrook said after the game. "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."
Westbrook addressed threatening Keisel’s wife, saying he has never hit a woman before.
"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."
After the game, Keisel spoke to Jeremiah Jensen of KSL and said he never said anything inappropriate to Westbrook to provoke the response. Keisel said several nearby fans were taunting Westbrook after he yelled at Jazz forward Joe Ingles. Keisel said he told Westbrook to sit down and keep icing his knees when Westbrook said that he was using heat. Keisel said he told Westbrook that he would need the heat when Westbrook snapped.
Keisel said that before the confrontation, he believed he and Westbrook were having fun talking back and forth.
Keisel also told ESPN that he wanted Westbrook "exposed" for threatening his wife, who Keisel said never said anything to Westbrook.
"He just went nuts," Keisel told 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."
Thunder guard Raymond Felton and forward Patrick Patterson came to the defense of Westbrook.
"It’s not fair to tell a man to get on his knees: ‘That’s what you’re used to doing.’ Then turn around, and his wife reiterates it and says it right back to him again. It’s not right," Felton said.
"Then everybody wants to make a big deal out of what [Westbrook] said, but let’s talk about what they said to him first. He’s not coming off and talking to the fans, just saying stuff to them, just blurting out words. He’s not. They’re coming at him first."
After the game, fans appeared to find old tweets from Keisel — that have since been deleted — in which Keisel wrote Westbrook "needs to go back where he came from #MAGA" and that Westbrook is a "piece of classless s—." It’s unclear if the tweets came from Keisel’s account.
Westbrook previously got into a confrontation in Utah last April during the postseason when he slapped a phone out of a fan’s hands.
"There are people that come to the game to say mean, disrespectful things about me, my family," Westbrook said after Monday’s game. "For many years, I’ve done all the right things. I’ve never done anything to hurt or harm anybody. I’ve never been in any trouble, never fought a fan. Been in the league 11 years — clean slate, humble.
"I’ll take whatever, all the criticism from everybody. I’ve been doing the same thing for years. For me, disrespect will not be taken from me. I completely just sit back sometimes and just take it. That’s just one video, but throughout the whole game, since I’ve been here, especially here in Utah, a lot of disrespectful things have been said."
The Jazz announced that they would continue to investigate the incident.
- LeBron James had a passionate response to passing Michael Jordan in points scored — what LeBron called one of his greatest accomplishments
- Peek inside Michael Jordan’s houses, cars, and travels and see what $1.9 billion buys
- What the NBA’s biggest stars looked like when their careers started