The Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night in an insanely dramatic finish, with Paul George hitting a game-tying 3-pointer with seconds to play and then Gary Harris drilling a long-range jumper of his own at the buzzer.
Presumably, the finish did not please Russell Westbrook — and nor did the decision of a Denver fan to get in the All-Star’s face. Westbrook gave the fan a sturdy shove, then looked bewildered as the man clapped and darted away.
Russ gets a fan in his face, pushes him away pic.twitter.com/2gP5H1QRKg
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 2, 2018
Notice that the fan got out of there quite quickly after Russ pushed him, especially as the brick wall known as Steven Adams wandered over. Fans may like to think they can pick a fight with an NBA player, but not many sweatshirt-wearing boozed-up fans would last long in a scrap with Russell Westbrook.
Afterward, Westbrook said it was “totally unacceptable” for fans to come onto the floor.
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
With the Malice at the Palace not so far in the past, there remains a pretty powerful stigma in the NBA against engaging physically with fans (as there should be). But fans should still realize that, as in all other areas of life, if you run up to a stranger and yell in his face, he might not be so happy about it.
In other words, Mr. Nuggets Fan here is probably lucky he got away with only a little push.