Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook had to be restrained from going after a 76ers fan who threw popcorn on him as he limped toward the locker room during Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia.
The fan was ejected from Wells Fargo Center following the incident, which occurred minutes before the 76ers won, 120-95, to take a 2-0 series lead in the first-round playoff matchup.
“I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens,” Westbrook told reporters after the game. “In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
A Wells Fargo Center official called the unidentified fan’s actions “classless” in a statement following the game.
“This was classless, unacceptable behavior, and we’re not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Center,” said Valerie Camillo, President of Business Operations for the arena.
Westbrook suffered an ankle injury that caused him to exit the game in the fourth quarter after scoring 10 points on 2-for-10 shooting with 11 assists.
The 32-year-old is no stranger to run-ins with fans.
The Utah Jazz banned a fan in 2019 after Westbrook said the man made “disrespectful” and “racial” comments toward him during a game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Philadelphia sports fans are well-known for their antics, which include pelting Santa Claus with snowballs and punching police horses at Eagles games.