Russell Westbrook filed into the Locker room Saturday night as the Jazz closed out the series in 6 games. As he was approaching the tunnel a fan reached out, extending his arm with camera in hand to get a closer view at the upset face of Westbrook. Russell quickly threw his arm out and attempted to swipe the phone out of the Jazz fans hand in an aggressive fashion.
In the post game interview, Westbrook spoke about the fans in Salt Lake City, saying that they have been saying some very disrespectful and vulgar things. He went on to say that ” they talk about your families, your kids, and its just a disrespect for the game”.
Where do you think the line is crossed with jawing back and forth in a heated playoff series between players? If players can talk within themselves to one another during the game does that make it okay for the fans in the crowd? That’s home court advantage, right? I’ve heard rumors from players telling stories with some pretty vulgar things being said on the court, and I’ve heard players say this is part of the game and you need to be able to be focused on the game in front of you, not the outside noise. Mitchell was even asked about Westbrook’s comment and he said it’s part of the game and you have to be able to get past those types of things and not let it get to you. Mitchell also said when inappropriate things are said to him during away games it makes him smile and drives him to play even better.
What I came away with from that comment was the Utah has some pretty effective fans, and they’ll look to get on the nerves of James Harden and Chris Paul in the Western conference semi-finals starting on Sunday.
Side note: If you go back to early January of this year, former Utah Jazz G Rodney Hood was fined $35,000 for slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand after his ejection. Expect Russell Westbrook to receive similar treatment.
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