The atmosphere in Utah once again reached the boiling point. As always when Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder play, things get intense on the court, and off too.
Russell Westbrook and two Jazzers’ fans had a heated altercation, which was recorded by the cameras.
There were multiple footages of Westbrook saying harsh words, and even threatening the couple.
“I’m going to tell you one thing,” Westbrook spoke to one of the people from the security, “I’ll (expletive) him up,” and then showed the other two persons, and began to address them.
“I promise you. You think I’m playing?” Russ said. “I swear to God. I swear to God. I’ll (expletive) you up. You and your wife. I’ll (expletive) you up.”
He then swore one more time before shifting his attention to the matters on the court.
“I promise you,” he repeated. “On everything I love. Everything I love.”
Things get heated between Russell Westbrook and Utah Jazz fans again. “I’ll f*ck you up. You and your wife,” he says. Not sure what these fans said to him, but he also had issues with Jazz fans during the postseason. pic.twitter.com/LquwRmLVNy
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) March 12, 2019
Westbrook, although looking pretty cool and laid back was in fact very upset. According to his words, the couple had made some bad remarks on his account, saying that he should get down on his knees like he used to do here in Utah.
It immediately drew the reaction of the 2017 MVP, who sees this as a way humiliating him in various aspects, among others, racial too. But what really bothered him is the fact that there isn’t any kind of protection for the players, who are left alone to deal with this.
“A young man and his wife in the stands told me ‘to get down on your knees like you used to.’ To me, that’s just completely disrespectful. I think it’s racial, and I think it’s inappropriate in the sense that there’s no protection for the players.” Westbrook said after the game in a locker room interview.
If this is true, then Westbrook may have a point. His reaction might not be the best one, but if someone insults you like this, which has nothing to do with your game or anything else, then the League has to step up. Otherwise, the players will have to defend themselves and those situations are not very good.
But the guy who was on the other end of Westbrook’s story, Shane Keisel claims that he never said anything vulgar to OKC’s superstar.
“I never said a swear word to him,” Keisel continued. “Everybody in the vicinity will say it. And she never left her seat, never said a word, hands in her lap. Never said a single swear word to him, not one.”
Shane Keisel, the Jazz fan who was involved in a verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook during the Jazz loss to the Thunder, explains his side of what happened. @KSL5TV @kslsports #nba pic.twitter.com/ScCSRttTCg
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) March 12, 2019
He and his wife were defending that they made remarks about Westbrook icing his knees and that it didn’t have any racial connotation or anything like in it.
The truth is somewhere in between, and there is no doubt that this isn’t going to be the end of Westbrook’s problems in Utah.
He already has a long history with the fans in Salt Lake City. In April of 2018, while exiting the floor and heading towards the locker room, one fan came very close to Westbrook and started yelling at him, which forced Westbrook to react.
After the same event, another fan tried to take pictures of him while entering the tunnel, but OKC’s leader slapped his cellphone and continued walking.
Even back then Westbrook said that something about Utah’s fans needs to be done.
Right now he repeated his words, accusing fans in Utah that they continuously insulin not only the players but the player’s families and the kids.
“Here in Utah, man, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans. It’s truly disrespectful. (They) talk about your families, your kids.”
The game last night ended with OKC’s win, 98-89 and Westbrook did a very good job. OKC’s No.0 scored 23 points, had 11 boards and 8 assists, helping his team reach its 41st win of the season, and sweeping the Jazzers in their regular campaign series,
There is a big possibility to see these two sides in the first round of the playoff. All which needs to happen is for the OKC to reclaim their 3rd seed, and for Utah to catch one-game advantage Clippers have and get down to the 6th place.
That would be on hell of a show to watch.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.