Russell Westbrook had plenty of reason to be salty about on Thursday night, having watched his team storm back to erase a 20-point deficit with 1.3 seconds remaining, only to watch the effort get dashed with a miraculous Gary Harris buzzer-beater.
Which is why it probably wasn’t advisable for this Denver Nuggets fan to find his way onto the court after the buzzer and scream in Westbrook’s face.
Luckily for him, the Thunder point guard let him off easy with a shove to the man boob.
Some fan got in Russell Westbrook’s face and he was lucky he didn’t catch the hands.pic.twitter.com/36JzJQYHou
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) February 2, 2018
Following the 127-124 defeat, Westbrook was asked if he’d seen his shove as necessary to protect himself.
“Of course,” he replied. “You gotta be able to protect the players, man. The fans are obviously there to enjoy the game, but they can’t come onto the floor. That’s totally unacceptable. They’ll look at it and figure out what’s the best way to deal with it. To me, that’s just totally unacceptable.”
Westbrook on the fan coming on the floor after the final buzzer: “They can’t come on the floor. It’s totally unacceptable.” pic.twitter.com/6s7DjD177o
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) February 2, 2018
According to the NBA’s code of conduct for fans, those who go onto the court “will be subject to ejection without refund and revocation of season tickets and may also be in violation of city ordinances resulting in possible arrest and prosecution.”
Westbrook will likely avoid penalty because the fan approached him and not the other way around. Either way, he could have saved himself the trouble by not losing his man on the last play of the game.