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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

NBA's Westbrook calls for protection from fans after claiming child 'hit' him during a game

The Oklahoma City Thunder star spoke to the child and his father after he was apparently pushed during a clash with the the Denver Nuggets.

Russell Westbrook addresses the child who appeared to touch him during the game.
Russell Westbrook addresses the child who appeared to touch him during the game.

NBA STAR RUSSELL Westbrook wants to see boundaries in place preventing NBA fans from touching the players on court after a young supporter appeared to push him in Denver.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star registered 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists as his team came up short in a 121-112 defeat against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

But footage of one particular incident involving Westbrook went viral as a child courtside stood up and seemed to push the nearby point guard after a foul was called.

Westbrook turned and stared at the fan, before bending down to address him and his father, later detailing the conversation to reporters as he bemoaned supporters’ ability to physically interact with players.

He hit me, so I told his dad, ‘Be careful, you can’t just have your son hitting people, just let him know’,” he said.

“You’ve got to control your kids. It’s that simple. He’s responsible for his kid. Watch the game, sit there, have fun, enjoy it.

“There’s too much leeway for all the fans to touch the players and get away with it. We can’t react and do the things that we need to do to protect ourselves.

“It’s important that they understand – kids, whoever it is, dads, moms – that they can say whatever they want, as long as it’s respectful, but the touching, for me, is off limits.”

Explaining his initial reaction, Westbrook said he did not know it was a child at the time.

“No, no, then I turned around and I see it’s a kid,” he added. “Initially you don’t know that, but I can’t… What am I going to do? Hop in the stands?

“There’s got to be some type of rule or some type of boundary set that you can’t allow that.”

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