NBA

Report: League will not punish Russell Westbrook for contact with fan

Report: League will not punish Russell Westbrook for contact with fan

The NBA will not hand down a suspension or fine to Russell Westbrook following an incident with a fan Thursday night in Denver according to ESPN’s Royce Young.

While some speculated that Westbrook would face a fine at the very least, it appears that the league has shown the MVP point guard some sympathy.

The fan shouldn’t have been out on the floor in the first place, and it’s quite clear that he was trying to provoke a reaction. Westbrook’s reaction — a shove with his left hand — was apparently deemed inoffensive enough to not warrant any action.

In my opinion, the NBA has done the right thing. While player and fan contact can recall horrible visions of the Malice in the Palace, the NBA took a sensible approach to this situation. The game — and especially the final few minutes — were hard-fought and physical, and it takes some time to wind down, even (or perhaps especially) for some of the world’s best athletes.

Provoking Westbrook in the heat of the moment was an intentional “Gotcha!” act, and the league has shown something important here: they’re going to side with the players in these situations. I applaud the common sense approach.

Obviously, this is a much different story if Westbrook had escalated the situation somehow, but the league has deemed his response acceptable.

There is still no word on whether or not the fan, who was in violation of NBA rules, will be handed any punishment.

NBA

More in NBA

Trae Young Finishes Second in Rookie of the Year Award

Brady TranthamJune 24, 2019

The Franchise NBA Awards!

Brady TranthamApril 15, 2019

John E. Hoover: Problem with NBA’s courtside jesters is actually an easy fix

John E. HooverMarch 12, 2019

Westbrook, fans should be held to higher standard

The FranchiseMarch 12, 2019

An unlikely MVP candidate

Andrew GilmanFebruary 12, 2019

The Franchise