Russell Westbrook is known for a lot of things.
His elite athlete athleticism. His high-energy game, and his seemingly always green light.
But one of the things he is not known for is thick skin.
While fans at sporting events are often out of pocket with some of the things they believe they can say to athletes, no one takes offense to things quite like Westbrook.
This was on full display in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoff series between Westbrook’s Clippers and the Phoenix Suns.
The former NBA MVP went into the suite of a Phoenix Suns fan and told them to “watch your mouth, m***********” after the fan had the temerity to call him “Westbrick.”
Russell Westbrook got into it with a Suns fan at halftime of Game 1 😳
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) April 17, 2023
For what it’s worth, Westbrook shot 3-of-19 in the contest. Though Los Angeles did win and Westbrook made some big plays down the stretch.
Suns Make Changes To Arena Layout After Westbrook Incident With Fan
Either way, the Phoenix Suns reacted to the incident. Prior to Wednesday night’s Game 2 of the series, the Suns altered their arena setup.
“Previously, players were able to use the Club Gila River lounge area as a shortcut to get from the visitors’ locker room to the court, but now they will have to walk a longer way,” CBS Sports’ Isabel Gonzalez reported.
Response to Russell Westbrook/#Suns fan incident at halftime of Game 1. #Clippers #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/4yiko9Lk03
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) April 19, 2023
The move didn’t seem to help Westbrook or the Clippers all that much. While Westbrook shot 9-of-16 for 28 points in Game 2, Phoenix walked out with a 123-109 victory. That tied the series at 1-1 as it moves back to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday night.
Maybe next time LA should try to plant a fan in the stands to fire up the superstar and his teammates.
Westbrook did not comment on the incident following the game. But the NBA did look into the causes, which may well have led to the Suns making changes to the arena.