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 ugly.
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. It’s worth mentioning that popcorn is typically not cheap at big events, especially when it’s a playoff game. It’s not the brightest idea to waste perfectly good and expensive popcorn.
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.”
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.