Late last night, when the Thunder went up against the Nuggets, Russell Westbrook was assaulted by a fan. He has been advocating since the incident for more strict restrictions on fans, saying that he is helpless since “what is he gonna do, jump in [the stands].”
This is all well and good if it wasn’t for the fact that the fan that “assaulted” Russ was…well, like 12 years old. Yes, Russ is mad that a 12 year old stood up and touched his shoulder during a game. Of course, I agree in the sense that there needs to be more protection from fans on the player side since this opens a big hole in the NBA’s stance.
Normally, a fan will receive a lifetime ban. But, this 12 year old fan will not receive a lifetime ban. However, it is becoming more and more apparent with fan’s actions this year that players are not safe at all. Multiple fans are taking actions (like the infamous fat, old white dude wearing Donovan Mitchell’s jersey at the Jazz game) that are proving as distracting and interfering with the game. I do not know if the refs are in charge of this, but this is becoming a tantamount issue. The NBA should address this issue quickly, just as quickly as the “unrelated timing” of the draft age change and Zion’s injury.