NBA playoffs 2021
Wizards' Westbrook raging after fan popcorn attack
Russell Westbrook reacted angrily after being targeted by a fan in Philadelphia as LeBron James criticised the individual.
Russell Westbrook said he is eagerly awaiting the NBA's response after the Washington Wizards star was showered in popcorn by an unruly fan during Wednesday's playoff clash against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Snack attack has Westbrook popping
Westbrook had to be restrained after a fan in Philadelphia dumped popcorn on the former MVP as he exited the court with a right ankle injury in the 120-95 Game 2 defeat to the top-seeded 76ers.
Washington's Westbrook – who finished with 10 points, 11 assists and six rebounds before appearing to roll his ankle inside the final 10 minutes – was left seething at Wells Fargo Center.
"To be completely honest, man, this s*** is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f*** they want to do, it's [wrong]," Westbrook said after the Wizards fell 2-0 behind in the Eastern Conference first-round series.
By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the was on the other #ProtectOurPlayers— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 27, 2021
"Any other setting, I'm all for the fans enjoying the game and having fun. It's part of sports, I get it. But there are certain things that cross the line. Any other setting, I know for a fact they wouldn't come up, a guy wouldn't come up on the street and pour popcorn on my head because they know what would happen.
"A guy wouldn't come up to me talking about my family and my kids on the street because the response would be different.
"The arena's have gotta start protecting the players. We'll see what the NBA does, but there's a huge problem for us as players, and for me, where fans they say whatever and the consequences for me are a lot more [detrimental] for me than the fans in the stands because they're untouchable.
"They can say what they want at a sporting event and they enjoy the game. But what a lot of fans don't realise is this is my job. I don't just play, this is something I love to do, it's something I compete at. So, to get food thrown on top of me, it's just bulls***, really."
Wells Fargo Center statement on fan behavior at tonight’s Philadelphia 76ers game. pic.twitter.com/4GgNqYcdFp— Wells Fargo Center (@WellsFargoCtr) May 27, 2021
Wells Fargo Center president of business operations Valeria Camillio said in a statement: "This was classless, unacceptable behaviour, and we're not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Center.
"We're proud to have the most passionate fans in the country and the best home-court and home-ice advantage around, but this type of behaviour has no place in our arena."
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James also weighed in via Twitter.
James wrote: "By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with an injury!! There's cameras all over arenas so there's no excuse! Cause if the [shoe] was on the other [foot]."
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