OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook declined to share any thoughts Wednesday about the Utah Jazz issuing a lifetime ban to fan Shane Keisel for the incident that occurred during Monday night’s game.
“If you want to talk about tonight’s game, we can do it,” Westbrook said when asked his reaction. “If not, enjoy your night.”
Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”
The Thunder did not practice Tuesday, and did not hold a morning shootaround Wednesday. In the locker room before Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets was the first time Westbrook had officially been available, but he declined to talk. (By rule, Westbrook is required to be available at least once on game day before tipoff, whether at shootaround or in the locker room pregame.)
Thunder coach Billy Donovan called the incident an “unfortunate situation” and credited the Jazz for how quickly they responded with the ban.
“It sheds to light sometimes these things that players have to deal with during the course of games,” Donovan said. “It’s unfortunate because I think a lot of people do come to the games as fans and want to root and cheer their team on, but those situations are really unfortunate. If anything, it brings light to something the league, along with players — everybody can try to make it better.”
Westbrook was sensational in the Thunder’s 108-96 victory over the Nets, recording his 26th triple-double of the season with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. After one particularly thrilling sequence late in the fourth quarter that ended with Westbrook drilling a dagger 3 to put the Thunder up 13, he danced and shimmied at half court as the Nets called timeout.
“I’m extremely blessed man, humbled, to go out and hoop,” Westbrook said when asked if playing Wednesday was helpful in moving on from the recent situation. “And that’s that.”