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Warriors’ players weigh in on Russell Westbrook/fan interaction

OAKLAND — After Oklahoma City’s 91-96 series-ending loss to the Utah Jazz last Friday, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook criticized the fan interactions with players.

Westbrooks comments came after a fan at Vivant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City confronted him as he walked off the floor, causing the reigning MVP to yell back at the spectator.

“I didn’t confront fans; fans confronted me,” Westbrook said in a postgame news conference. “Here in Utah, man, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans. It’s truly disrespectful. Talk about your families, your kids. It’s truly disrespectful to the game, man.”

On Monday, Warriors guards Shaun Livingston and Klay Thompson weighed in on the relationship between players and fans.

“What Russ says has some truth to it,” Livingston said. “He’s not just sitting here telling lies, but I feel it has to be respect from both sides.”

“It’s about the fans,” he continued. “So they’re doing everything in their power to make sure they’re happy, they’re satisfied, they’re getting their money’s worth. But at the same time, it has to be a level of respect on their end, that you might not know what its like to be a player, but you know what its like to be emotional so you can’t go out and you can’t, you know, a guy is coming off the court after a loss and you say things about his family or yelling things, or getting in his face. You wouldn’t do that, like (Russell) said, you wouldn’t do it on the street. And they’re not on the street but at the same time have a level of respect.”

Thompson said that if a fan wants to talk out of line, keep the player’s family out of it.

“I think security has done a good job of taking care of fans that are out of line,” Thompson said. “As long as you leave our children and their families out of it, it’s fine. They can attack our character, they can talk mess about us but just as long as they don’t go out of bounds, using people’s children and their families. That’s just over the line.”

According to Thompson, a group of fans crossed that line with his family during a game in Cleveland. Still, Thompson says he brushed it off.


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