The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

NBA won’t punish Russell Westbrook for shoving a bozo Nuggets fan

Things took a sour turn for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder on Thursday night. (David Zalubowski/AP)

The NBA will not impose discipline on Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook for shoving a fan who came onto the court at the conclusion of Thursday night’s game against the Nuggets in Denver. Per ESPN’s Royce Young, the league determined that “there was no aggression or engagement from the reigning MVP toward the fan,” and that the NBA “is further reviewing protocols for all arena security, as well as whether to recommend changes or enhancements to staffing or security locations.”

The in-game ending was wild enough: One second after Oklahoma City’s Paul George hit a step-back three-pointer to tie the score at 124, Denver’s Gary Harris made a three-pointer at the buzzer on an inbounds play to give the Nuggets a 127-124 win. But then an overly enthused Denver fan decided to get in Russell Westbrook’s face, and this happened:

It’s hard to fault Westbrook here, because fans shouldn’t be on the court at all — it’s prohibited by the league’s fan code of conduct — much less woofing in players’ faces.

“You gotta be able to protect the players, man,” Westbrook said afterward, per ESPN. “The fans are obviously there to enjoy the game, but they can’t come onto the floor. That’s totally unacceptable.

“They’ll look at it and figure out what’s the best way to deal with it, but to me, that’s just totally unacceptable.”

NBA journalist (and former Washington Post reporter) Michael Lee agrees.

The unidentified fan “will be subject to ejection without refund and revocation of season tickets and may also be in violation of city ordinances resulting in possible arrest and prosecution,” according to the code of conduct.

Read more on the NBA:

Kevin Durant calls “bull—-” on LeBron James-to-Warriors rumors

NBA trade deadline 2018: Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans, and Greg Monroe might be next

Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife killed in car crash

How NBA teams’ reckless spending on 2016 free agents is crippling the market today

Suns’ Isaiah Canaan suffers horrific injury that conjures Gordon Hayward comparisons