Clippers Notes: Westbrook, Harden, Jackson, Jordan

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook got into a heated exchange with a fan at Arena near the end of the Clippers’ 113-104 loss to Denver on Monday night, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. Westbrook and the fan were jawing back and forth near midcourt while the Clippers inbounded the ball and brought it up the floor (Twitter video link via Ben Golliver).

“I mean, it’s unfortunate,” Westbrook said. “Fans think they can say whatever they want. I’m not going to say [what was said] now because it’s not appropriate, but I’m just protecting myself. It’s just unfortunate fans think they can get away with saying anything and, personally, I won’t allow it. I’ve [taken] a lot of people saying anything and getting away with it, but I won’t stand for it.”

As Youngmisuk notes, Westbrook has had verbal confrontations with fans in Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Utah in recent years. The former MVP, who has spoken in the past about not wanting his name or family to be disrespected, reiterated that point following Monday’s incident.

“Now having kids and understanding how important it is, not just myself but my last name,” he said. “Understanding what Westbrook means, understanding how important that is to my dad, my grandfather, my family. It’s very important. It’s something I stand on, and the respect is a big thing that I value.

“So the moment that line gets crossed, I won’t allow [it] no more. I’ve stood for it for years, and now my son is old enough to know what’s going on, asking me, ‘Hey Dad, what does that mean? What’s that?’ Now I got to stand on it, and regardless of where I’m at, what’s going on, I’m always standing on that.”

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • Monday’s loss was the fourth straight game in which James Harden attempted eight or fewer shots. As Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times observes, the star guard passed on multiple catch-and-shoot opportunities, and fans could be heard in the game’s final minutes imploring him to shoot. “Habit is a thing and I think he’s just, his rhythm has been so accustomed to off the bounce and creating space and catching rhythm off his dribble that it is different now in catch-and-shoot situations,” teammate Paul George said. “I just think the more reps he get at it, the more he sees in-game that those catch-and-shoots are available, I think more in rhythm he’ll be. But it’s an adjustment.”
  • Former Clippers Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Jordan led the way on Monday in a game the Nuggets won without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, or Aaron Gordon. Jackson, who had 35 points and 13 assists on 15-of-19 shooting, said the win over his old team was “definitely one of the sweeter ones,” per Law Murray of The Athletic. Head coach Michael Malone, meanwhile, wants Jackson to treat every game as if he’s playing the Clippers. “He loves playing against the Clippers, that’s two games where he’s played really well against this team,” Malone said. “I challenged him for the rest of the year, just in his mind, no matter who we’re playing: just tell himself he’s playing the Clippers again, because he’s great against that team.”
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, published prior to Monday’s loss, Murray explores what the Clippers learned from Harden’s first 10 games with the team.
  • Helene Elliott of The Los Angeles Times argues that Monday’s loss was the Clippers’ worst of the season and that it showed the Harden experience remains very much a work in progress.
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