Russell Westbrook Fined $25K; Jazz Ban Fan Involved In Heated Exchange

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has been fined $25,000 for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan,” the league announced in a statement on Tuesday. The fan, who made derogatory remarks towards Westbrook during the heated exchange has been permanently banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena in Utah, the Jazz announced.

The incident occurred during Oklahoma City’s win over Utah on Monday between Westbrook and the fan, later identified as Shane Keisel. Westbrook said that Kiesel made comments about his family and at one point, told the former MVP to “get down on your knees like you’re used to.”

“For me, I’m just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family,” Westbrook said to reporters, including Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman, after the game. “I just think there’s got to be something done. There’s got to be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I don’t think it’s fair to the players — not just to me, but I don’t think it’s fair to the players.

Speaking to KSL 5 TV, Keisel gave a more subdued account of the incident, saying that he believed the exchange to be all in “good fun.”

“It was actually having fun, to be honest,” Keisel said of the encounter. “He was smiling at one point.”

“I told him, ‘Sit down and ice your knees bro!’ And he turned to me and is like, ‘That’s heat, that’s heat!’…I never said a single swear word to him, not one. Initially, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m talking to Westbrook, he’s one of the greats.’ But he’s classless.”

However, in the Jazz noted in their statement that Keisel violated the NBA’s Code of Conduct and that the organization would not tolerate such behavior moving forward.

“The organization conducted an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts,” the Jazz said in the statement. “The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a placer during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct. The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately. There s no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect.”

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40 thoughts on “Russell Westbrook Fined $25K; Jazz Ban Fan Involved In Heated Exchange

  1. hiflew

    Is there anyone that truly believes this fan told him to “ice his knees, bro” and not something else? Just checking.

    • Richard Hangslow

      I do. Fans surrounding said fan vouched for him. Soon as Someone throws the race card you know they’re just covering/justifying their behavior. Russ was 100% wrong.

      • hiflew

        So because fellow Utah fans are agreeing with the fan and blaming Westbrook, you think that says something? I don’t like Westbrook either, but it just makes no sense.

      • x%sure

        RH- Even if that qualifies as race carding, which is doubtful, it’s not as bad as race trolling, which is more certain in your case.

        The Jazz have witnesses of their own, and video evidence– much more impartial. Westbrook was backed by people who know more than just reflex.

        I would prefer the tape was released. Westbrook already revealed part of it.
        And to be fair the article is imprecise in Westbrook’s quote to the media and maybe his recollection is not precise either, which is normal for people. But the jerk said something bannable, and by an opposing organization.

        The vouching fans should be looked in to also. Prob a bunch of RH types.

        • Nebraska Tim

          Agreed!^^^

          x%sure is 100% correct on this.

          If these other “fans” came forward – which seems doubtful… they don’t want to be connected to this – then I’m sure the Jazz would have looked into their comments. It’s not like it’s in the Jazz’s interest to not be careful about this.

          RH’s dopey name tells you all you need to know about him anyways.

      • Thuggababyy

        Gobert, Mitchell, Sefolosha all stood up for Westbrook on social media. lol

      • dkcsmc1991

        I agree and I am done with NBA and won’t spend any more money on anything related to NBA. I’m sure someone will post a “Big deal” or “Bye Felicia” but I’m tired of these spoiled overpaid brats. I think racism is horrible but playingbtge race card

        • dkcsmc1991

          Playing the race card every time someone doesn’t like something is just as racist.

    • jump shot

      Come on… we saw this guy’s interview… he should be a 1st ballot inductee into the All Saints Hall-of-Fame. Don’t take my word for it – ask the awesome fans sitting near him. Clearly, every nba player who has remarked about this offensive language from Utah Jazz fans over the years should be charged with collusion. They are the most welcoming fans in the league to African-American players.

      • x%sure

        Online sarcasm is risky! Just be mad!

        I still remember the noisy jerks behind the visitor’s bench in Sacramento when the Kings were good. I’m sure they were planted there on purpose, probably were paid by the decibel. IDK if they got player families involved.

  2. FromTheCheapSeats

    There would have been no reason for the Jazz to take action if this guy’s story was true. Why would they side with Westbrook?

    This “fan” is a fake tough guy from a city that has a long history of over the top language directed as visiting players. Kudos to the Jazz for doing the right thing.

  3. Meadowlark

    Many, many years ago a couple of us 21 year old kids used to buy seats as close to the visitors bench as possible. We would commence very loud and completely rude hollering at opposing players. Some got pretty upset (my buddy made Don Rickles look like a choir boy) But George Wilson, then playing for the Buffalo Braves, and a regular recipient of our boorish, childish behavior had the best solution. The next time the Braves came to town he had autographed photos and other Braves pennants, etc. for us. INSTANT HERO! We rooted for him the rest of his career. Give George a call Westbrook. He could help you grow up.

    • jump shot

      Q: Were you rude? Were you racist? My guess is that you were just rude. Nobody has a problem with rude. Make racist comments and be willing to accept any repercussions from that. It’s pretty simple.

    • Nebraska Tim

      Except that Patterson also heard what happened.

      And if Patterson said it happened, then I’d pretty much always go with him. He’s a class act.

      Unlike this classless “fan.”

    • x%sure

      Twitter link– “The organization conducted an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts.”

      So we have to take their word for it. But I suppose there’s no obligation to go into detail and who cares about the a h anyway. Ban him leaguewide.

      • Nebraska Tim

        Completely agree.

        It’s crazy that anyone would side with this classless fan.

        I’m not a fan of Westbrook’s game, but it says a lot about a person if they side with this “fan.”

    • Nebraska Tim

      Clearly there is plenty of evidence that the fan is not only classless, but also racist.

  4. x%sure

    HR- The jerk’s quote as quoted by Westbrook audibly in the link was
    “get down on [your] knees like YOU used to”,
    not “… like you’re used to”.

    The presence of the contracted “are” in the misquote makes the comment more specific to Westbrook and current in tense than without the “are”. Without the present-tense indication, the “you” can stand in for his race over time, which was presumably the jerk’s intent. The comment does not make any sense otherwise.

    • Luke Adams

      I’m not sure if it’s established definitively one way or the other, as I’ve seen outlets quote it both ways and it’s hard to tell with 100% certainty what Westbrook said.

      I agree that I thought it was “you,” but for what it’s worth, Patrick Patterson also quoted it as “you’re” when he tweeted about it after the game: link to twitter.com

  5. Simple Fan

    Throw out the bad fan. Why would you blame RussWest for anything in the incident?

  6. Anyone surprised why FA don’t wanna sign with the Jazz, if that is the type of fans they have… real poor showing!

  7. yanker69

    $25k? That’s it!? Lets hope the fan sues him for millions…. He needs to learn a lesson.

    • Nebraska Tim

      Suing the player that he used racist language toward?

      That would go over great.

      • yanker69

        What racist language was used? I didn’t hear any when it was replayed on ESPN. Maybe I missed it. However Russ threatened a man and his wife, that is liable.

        • jump shot

          Yeah, Russ has been in the league over ten years and has probly heard it all, but he responded this way over “nothing”??? Come on….

          • captainsalty

            Yeah Westbrook is an over emotional baby these days always bickering with other players and fans…if it was someone that wasn’t so obviously emotionally disturbed I would be more likely to believe that he wasn’t mistaken on what he heard and overreacted

            • jump shot

              Looked pretty calm and cool in his response to the idiot and idiot wife. If he was so emotional they would have had to hold him back from approaching them. Are YOU the actual fan in question from the game?

  8. goldenmisfit

    Not a jazz fan and not a hater of the thunder but we do have this very cool thing in the United States of America called freedom of speech. Also, as someone who has been in a sports profession where you have to deal with rabbit fans if you can’t handle the heat when you’re on the road you should not be playing the sport. I have been to some of these games but believe me when I tell you some of these fans have screamed worse things just was not heard by the player. Can you imagine if every player did what Westbrook dead if they heard every obscene comment? It would be mass hysteria.

    • Nebraska Tim

      Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of what you say.

    • hiflew

      Rabbit fans? I think you mean rabid fans. No one has any problems with people that like bunnies.

    • I hate the Randy Marsh “I thought this was America” argument. You make concessions on free speech all the time. You can’t yell fire in a theater. This website has a commenting policy. Etc.

      From the NBA Fan Code of Conduct:
      “Guests will enjoy the basketball experience free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.”

      also:
      “Players will respect and appreciate each and every fan.”

      So while Westbrook (who I very much dislike) could have probably handled it better (notifying security, trying to ignore it, etc.), the Jazz are well within their rights to ban this guy.

  9. Meadowlark

    Let’s face it, we’re all fans of rabbits. They make Easter memorable for the non-churched masses. They’re just so cuddly! Frankly they’re taking over the league what with players having “bunnies”, and of course there’s their Leporidae music (hip hop). Now “rabbit fans”? What’s next? … RABBIT, verb. (British) (intransitive) To talk incessantly and in a childish manner; to babble annoyingly. Oh, we already are witnessing that!

  10. Nebraska Tim

    This article sure got the online trolls out in full force… No surprise, I guess, but still disappointing.

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