When NBA superstar Russell Westbrook hobbled towards the cabin, he was already served. His Washington Wizards had no chance against the Philadelphia 76ers, plus the ankle injury he sustained in the last quarter.
And then the popcorn flew too.
Westbrook was almost out of the interior when suddenly a spectator from the stands poured his corn snack over the 32-year-old. Westbrook was furious and could hardly be held back by the security guards and staff of the Washington crew.
Following the game, which the Wizards lost 95: 120 and are thus close to the end of the season, Westbrook found clear words: “I would not come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head. You know what happens then. “
“In the arenas we must finally begin to protect the players. We’ll see what the NBA will do, “Westbrook said: There are a lot of incidents and fans would think they are untouchable. “The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans who just do what the hell they want to do – it’s just no longer sustainable.”
The fan is said to have been a Philadelphia trailer. According to ESPN, a bystander near the tunnel where Westbrook was pelted was escorted out of the hall by security forces shortly after the incident. Wizards coach Scott Brooks demanded that the fan will no longer be allowed into the stadium in the future.
The Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers and site of the incident, stressed in a statement that it was a stylish, unacceptable behavior on the part of the fan. “We are proud to have the most passionate fans in the country, but this behavior has no place in our arena,” it said. The NBA has not yet spoken out about the incident.
The incident was reminiscent of what was known as “The Brawl,” which had kept the NBA in suspense more than ten years ago. At that time, Ron Artest, a pro with the Indiana Pacers, lay down on a table after an argument with Pistons pro Ben Wallace and was showered with drinks by a fan.
Artest jumped into the audience, more players followed him and a wild fight began between professionals and fans. The game was canceled, the NBA subsequently suspended several professionals, and several viewers were banned from the arena for life.