Getting the chance to heckle players is one of the perks that come with attending a sporting event in person, although I think most people would agree there are certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
In recent years, more NBA players have started to take a stand against supposedly unruly spectators who’ve gone too far; Draymond Green had someone booted earlier this season over an alleged death threat, and Kyrie Irving pulled the same move over an unspecified comment this week.
Russell Westbrook has also had to deal with his fair share of abuse over the course of the past few seasons, and every sane person would agree he was entirely justified in demanding the removal of a 76ers fan who dumped popcorn on him during the playoffs in 2021.
With that said, Westbrook hasn’t really done much to combat the notion that he has some of the thinnest skin in the NBA due to other situations where he’s dispatched security over some fairly innocent comments.
Now, it appears he’s committed another somewhat unforced error thanks to what unfolded when the Clippers played the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
The “incident” in question transpired toward the end of the first half, as Westbrook was seen lobbying the refs and security to take care of a man sitting courtside who’d managed to draw his ire.
Russell Westbrook gets a Grizzlies fan ejected from the game; Clippers-Grizzlies pic.twitter.com/wVZclCJTgh
— Oh no he didn't (@ohnohedidnt24) March 30, 2023
However, based on what the man in question (Memphis resident Benjamin Orgel) had to say while speaking with The New York Post, things appeared to get blown very out of proportion, as he claimed he was allowed to return to his seat after telling officials inside the arena what actually went down
“The Clippers’ security and NBA security took me in the back, and I told them what happened.
I said, ‘Guys, honestly I only said ‘Westbrick.’ I didn’t say ‘you suck.’ I didn’t say anything.’ And they said, ‘Look, we verified what happened with Russell and you can go back to the game.’
I was back in my seats like 30 seconds later.”
Last year, Westbrook violated the cardinal rule of dealing with bullies when he attempted to explain why he’s particularly averse to the “Westbrick” moniker, which naturally resulted in even more people using it as ammunition after discovering it’s his personal Kryptonite.
It’s safe to assume they’re not going to stop now that this has come to light.