Thunder’s Patrick Patterson reveals Jazz fan’s comment that riled up Russell Westbrook
On Monday, a clip of Russell Westbrook shouting obscenities at a Utah Jazz fan started going viral on social media following the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 98-89 win in Salt Lake City. Patrick Patterson wanted to set the record straight.
What the fan said to set off Westbrook in that clip is inaudible. However, Patterson took to Twitter to share what he heard from the fan firsthand on the OKC bench:
Fans can say shit about a mans family, wife, & kids.. Tell a player “Get down on your knees like your use to.” As men, what do you expect us to do? Shut up & dribble? No one is held accountable for their actions except for us. Fans are protected in every way possible but not us.
— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) March 12, 2019
Even though what the heckler said to Westbrook sounds tame in comparison to Westbrook’s profanity-laced tirade, the negative connotations were clearly evident. The statement’s contents reflect a stream of words intended to trigger an angry response from the Thunder superstar. It’s obvious that the fan was taking a personal jab at Westbrook with his remarks, which then prompted Russ to respond with a verbal uppercut of his own — albeit in a more profane manner, and visibly enough that he was caught.
Patrick Patterson has a good point about fans being protected and not the players, but did those words really merit a nasty rebuttal that could easily be caught on tape and backfire on Westbrook in an instant?
Yes, emotions are bound to flare up at one point or another, but there’s a reason why grown men are dubbed “professional” basketball players. Their demeanor both on and off the court speaks volumes about how they comport themselves. A good number of people look up to NBA players as an inspiration, just as there will be detractors hoping to bring them down. Such is the price of fame and success.
Still, the NBA would probably do well to look into improving security and safety measures to prevent further incidents like these from constantly happening. These incidents not only affect the players and fans, but harm the league’s image as well.
Patrick Patterson would agree on this fundamental point.