A 76ers fan was ejected from Wednesday night’s playoff game at the Wells Fargo Center after throwing popcorn at Wizards guard Russell Westbrook.
The incident occurred when the 2017 NBA MVP walked back to Washington’s locker room after suffering an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. The NBA TV broadcast showed popcorn being dumped on Westbrook as he entered the tunnel. He was understandably furious at the fan and had to be held back by Wizards staffers.
NBA TV’s Stephanie Ready noted that arena security did identify the fan, who was ejected from the game.
During his postgame media availability, Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters that he was unaware of the incident, saying, “If it did happen, hopefully the kid or the person is banned from the league.” Westbrook called on the NBA to protect its players in these situations.
Valerie Camillo, the president of business operations for the Wells Fargo Center, addressed the fan’s behavior with 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.
Westbrook finished with 10 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in the Wizards’ 120-95 Game 2 loss to the Sixers, which gave Philadelphia a 2-0 series lead. Westbrook was forced to leave the contest early in the fourth quarter with the ankle injury after stepping directly on Furkan Korkmaz’s foot.
Brooks didn’t offer any details on Westbrook’s status, noting only that “he’s not happy he wasn’t able to finish the game.”
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