During the Philadelphia 76ers' 120-95 win over the Washington Wizards in Game 2 on Wednesday, Russell Westbrook had to be held back by security after a contentious interaction sparked by a fan at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The fan dumped popcorn on the Washington point guard's head as limped back into the locker room tunnel with an apparent ankle injury early in the fourth quarter. Not surprisingly, Westbrook lost his cool after the popcorn was poured on his head and began exchanging words with the fan, and as a result, the security guards and members of the team staff kept him back to prevent this from getting any uglier.
Take a look at what happened:
After the game Westbrook told reporters, including Fred Katz of The Athletic that "this shit is out of hand."
"I wouldn't come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens," Westbrook said "... In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We'll see what the NBA does."
The home crowd is known for being a passionate bunch, especially in Philadelphia, but throwing objects (even if edible) is what will get you kicked out of games, which is exactly what happened to this fan.
Wells Fargo Center's president of business operations Valerie Camillo issued the following statement:
"This was classless, unacceptable behavior, and we're not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Center. We're proud to have the most passionate fans in the country and the best home-court and home-ice advantage around, but this type of behavior has no place in our arena."
"After an investigation into the incident that occurred at last night's game, we have determined that the person involved will have his season ticket membership revoked, effectively immediately. In addition, he will be banned from all events at Wells Fargo Center indefinitely.
"We apologize to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unacceptable and disrespectful behavior. there is no place for it in our sport or arena."
The NBA, as a result of this incident and of the Trae Young incident at Madison Square Garden the same night, will be "vigorously" enforcing its enhanced code of conduct rules.
"The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought great excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is critical that we all show respect for players, officials and our fellow fans," the league said in a statement. "An enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved."
Before leaving the game with an injury, the former MVP recorded 10 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. The Wizards will head back to D.C. for Game 3 on May 29 down 2-0 in the series.