Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook shoved a fan who had stepped onto the court and come face to face with him in the moments after the Nuggets‘ buzzer-beating, 127-124 victory Thursday night in Denver.
Video of the bizarre confrontation showed the man walk onto the court and scream in Westbrook’s face as the Nuggets and fans at the Pepsi Center celebrated the wild aftermath of Gary Harris‘ winning 3-pointer.
Westbrook was walking off the court when the fan got in front of him. He pushed the fan in the shoulder with his left hand, before a referee and an arena employee intervened and motioned for the fan to leave the court.
The NBA said it would review the incident.
Asked if he felt shoving the fan was the only way for him to protect himself, Westbrook responded, “Of course.”
“You gotta be able to protect the players, man,” he said. “The fans are obviously there to enjoy the game, but they can’t come onto the floor. That’s totally unacceptable.
“They’ll look at it and figure out what’s the best way to deal with it, but to me that’s just totally unacceptable.”
The NBA’s code of conduct for fans prohibits guests from “attempting to enter the court” and states that those who do “will be subject to ejection without refund and revocation of season tickets and may also be in violation of city ordinances resulting in possible arrest and prosecution.”