Westbrook rages after fan dumps popcorn on his head

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) argues a call with referee Jacyn Goble (68) during the fourth quarter of game two against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Centre May 26, 2021. — Reuters pic
Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) argues a call with referee Jacyn Goble (68) during the fourth quarter of game two against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Centre May 26, 2021. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, May 27 — An angry Russell Westbrook had to be restrained after a Philadelphia 76ers fan poured popcorn on his head as he went to the locker room for treatment late on Wednesday.

The Washington Wizards star was held back by security as he tried to confront the fan with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Sixers’ 120-95 victory over the Washington Wizards in game two of their Eastern Conference series.

Westbrook was heading for treatment on an injured ankle when the fan showered him with popcorn from above the players’ tunnel.

“I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens,” said Westbrook. 

“In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”

Wizards coach Scott Brooks defended his star player, saying he hopes the fan would not be allowed back in the building. The fan was led away by security.

“Philadelphia is better than that,” Brooks said.

The 76ers also released a statement. “This was classless, unacceptable behavior, and we’re not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Centre,” said Philadelphia’s president of business operations Valerie Camillo. 

“We’re proud to have the most passionate fans in the country... but this type of behavior has no place in our arena.”

LeBron James tweeted: “By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the [shoe] was on the other [foot].”

Westbrook scored 10 points and handed out 11 assists. But the all-star point guard struggled Wednesday, shooting just two-of-10 from the floor and missing all three of his attempts from beyond the arc as the Sixers took a 2-0 lead in the series. — AFP

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