Russell Westbrook got into a verbal altercation with a fan during Monday night's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. Cooler heads prevailed before it went too far, but Westbrook and Clippers teammate Paul George both spoke about the lack of respect from some fans after the fact.
In the middle of play at Crypto.com Arena, Westbrook got into a shouting match with a fan sitting a few rows up from the court. Westbrook stopped in his tracks and a heated exchange began. Luckily, an official and several players got between Westbrook and the fan to extinguish the altercation before things got ugly.
After the game, Westbrook said fans tend to think they have a pass to say "whatever they want," and that can lead to them crossing a line. Westbrook hinted that the fan may have said something derogatory about his family.
"Fans kind of have the right of way to say whatever they want," Westbrook said. "Like I said, any disrespect to me or my family, I won't allow it."
Westbrook declined to get into specifics about what the fan was shouting, but he said he wouldn't have reacted that way over just anything.
"If I'm responding, there's a reason I'm responding," Westbrook said.
George came to Westbrook's defense and spoke about the "thin line" between trash-talking and disrespect. George said fans probably wouldn't want anyone coming to their job and disrespecting them the whole time.
"Honestly, it is a thin line," George said. "Obviously, fans, they pay their money to come to a game. They feel they have some sort of entitlement to that. At the same time, nowhere else can someone go to someone's job and disrespect you at your job and it be okay. That's just a thin line.
"When people come to work, they should be respected at their job, regardless of if it's sports or any other occupation. When people come to do their job, they should at least be respected. You don't necessarily have to be a fan of the player, but there should be a line of respect," George said.
This is not the first time Westbrook has gotten into it with a fan who crossed the line. In March of 2019, the Utah Jazz banned a fan who "engaged in the inappropriate interaction" with Westbrook, then a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.