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.”