SALT LAKE CITY — Russell Westbrook expressed no regrets about a heated exchange with a fan during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night, saying his threat to “f— up” the man and his wife was an emotional response to “completely disrespectful” comments directed toward him.
The exchange, which occurred while Westbrook was on or near the end of the Thunder’s bench during the second quarter, was caught on video and went viral after being posted on Twitter.
According to Westbrook, the man told him to, “Get down on your knees like you’re used to.” Westbrook considered that comment to be “racial” and “inappropriate.”
“For me, I’m just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family,” said Westbrook, who had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the Thunder’s 98-89 win. “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.
“And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same. So that’s kind of where I’m at with the whole situation. As for beating up his wife, I have never put my hand on a woman; I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before. Never have before, but once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me as well. So that’s kind of how that started. I know you guys only got the tail end of the video, but the start of the video is way more important and way more disrespectful than what you guys heard.”
The fan, 45-year-old Shane Keisel, told ESPN that he did not cuss at Westbrook or say anything inappropriate. Keisel claimed that the exchange “started off as fun” with him yelling at Westbrook to “Ice those knees up!” According to Keisel, after Westbrook replied that it was heat on his knees, Keisel hollered, “You’re going to need it.” Keisel said his girlfriend, Jennifer Huff, didn’t participate in the exchange.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.