Basketball

Westbrook says fan provoked profane threat

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook said he was verbally provoked before directing a profanity-laced tirade at a fan during the Thunder's 98-89 win over the Utah Jazz yesterday morning (Singapore time) in Salt Lake City.

A reporter from the Deseret News tweeted a video of Westbrook's comments to the fan.

"I promise you," Westbrook said to the fan.

"You think I'm playing. I swear to God. I swear to God. I'll (expletive) you up; you and your wife. I'll (expletive) you up."

When another person appeared to intervene, Westbrook said, "No, (expletive) that! (Expletive) that!"

Then, apparently addressing the fan again, he said: "I promise you, everything I love. Everything I love (n-word), I promise you."

After the game, Westbrook, who finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, gave his explanation: "How it started was, a young man and his wife in the stands told me 'to get down on your knees like you used to'. To me, that's just completely disrespectful, it's racial, it's inappropriate and insensitive.

"If I had it to do over again, I would say the exact same thing. I truly will stand up for myself and my family.

"As for beating up his wife, I've never put my hand on a woman. I never will... But once he said the comment and his wife repeated the same thing as well, that's kind of how that started."

Salt Lake City NBC 5 identified the male fan involved in the exchange as Shane Keisel, a Jazz fan who said he was playfully bantering with Westbrook before the star started cursing at him. - REUTERS

OTHER RESULTS: Cleveland 126 Toronto 101, Washington 121 Sacramento 115, Brooklyn 103 Detroit 75, Houston 118 Charlotte 106, LA Clippers 140 Boston 115

Basketball