Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook got into it with a fan near the court at Crypto.com Arena on Monday night.
Westbrook, in the final moments of the Clippers’ 113-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets, was seen talking with a fan sitting just behind the courtside seats near midcourt. An official stood in front of Westbrook briefly to make sure the two stayed separated, and then Westbrook returned to talk with the fan after the game ended.
It’s unclear what was said between the two, but multiple players and both team and arena security joined Westbrook at one point to make sure things didn’t escalate further.
Russell Westbrook arguing with a fan sitting courtside at last night's Clippers-Nuggets game 👀 pic.twitter.com/aMDlMB4Tok
— Fantasy Learning (@FantasyLearning) November 28, 2023
"I mean, it's unfortunate," Westbrook said after the game, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. "Fans think they can say whatever they want. I'm not going to say [what was said] now because it's not appropriate, but I'm just protecting myself.
"It's just unfortunate fans think they can get away with saying anything and, personally, I won't allow it. I've [taken] a lot of people saying anything and getting away with it, but I won't stand for it."
Westbrook has been involved in several similar confrontations and incidents with fans in recent years. A Utah Jazz fan was banned from the team’s arena for life after he was involved in an altercation with Westbrook in 2019. Two years later, when Westbrook was with the Washington Wizards, a fan dumped popcorn on him. Then last season, Westbrook was involved in a heated confrontation with a Phoenix Suns fan while traveling from the locker room to the court.
"I understand fans are enjoying the game and feeling up to whatever that may be," Westbrook said, via ESPN. "I guess they feel they can kind of say whatever, but this is our job ... all the negative comments about family and things of that nature, I would kind of stay away from. But anything else, they can kind of say what they want."
Westbrook, 35, landed with the Clippers last season after starting the year with the Lakers. He’s averaged a career-low 12.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season. He had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in their loss to the Nuggets on Monday night.
Though Westbrook has been involved in a number of these incidents, he made it clear once again Monday night that he won’t stand for that behavior from fans.
"Now having kids and understanding how important it is, not just myself but my last name," Westbrook said, via ESPN. "Understanding what Westbrook means, understanding how important that is to my dad, my grandfather, my family. It's very important. It's something I stand on, and the respect is a big thing that I value.
"So the moment that line gets crossed, I won't allow [it] no more. I've stood for it for years, and now my son is old enough to know what's going on, asking me, 'Hey Dad, what does that mean? What's that?' Now I got to stand on it, and regardless of where I'm at, what's going on, I'm always standing on that."