The viral verbal altercation, in which Westbrook repeatedly promised, in an expletive-ridden rant, to go after the fan and his wife, apparently led to the fan being escorted out of Vivint Smart Home Arena. However, Shaine Keisel, the man behind the heckling, was later interviewed by TV reporters in the arena. He said he thought was just having fun with Westbrook.
While Keisel claimed that he never uttered a single profanity to a “classless” Westbrook, the star told reporters after the 98-89 Thunder victory that Keisel actually told him to “get down on my knees like you’re used to.” Russ said he took it as a “completely disrespectful” and “racial” comment. The All-Star has confronted Utah Jazz fans in the past, claiming they said “vulgar” things in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, but insisted he respects most fans.
Several players, including a pair of Westbrook’s teammates and future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, have defended Russ’ actions.
“Lies people tell,” Wade tweeted late Monday night, along with video of Keisel’s defense.
“Fans can say s— about a man’s family, wife and kids,” Westbrook’s teammate Patrick Patterson tweeted. “As men, what do you expect us to do? Shut up and dribble? No one is held accountable for their actions except for us. Fans are protected in every way possible, but not us.”
OKC’s Raymond Felton went into even more detail with reporters after the game.
“At the end of the day, we are human beings,” he said. “We have feelings. Just like they got feelings, we got feelings, too. That was unnecessary what they said to Russ. That’s not fair. That’s not right… People can say whatever they want to say to us during the games, talk about our families, talk about kids. We are fathers, we have families … (and) the security was standing right there. He never said one thing. He didn’t say one word. That’s not right.”