LeBron James defends Russell Westbrook, salutes Jazz for banning fan

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  The Roundup—Mitchell scores 25 Jazz still fall to OKC

"For me, I'm just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family", said Westbrook after the game, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "People can say whatever what they want to say us during games and yell out stuff and talk about our families and talk about our kids". That's because, during the contest, a Jazz fan crossed the line while heckling Russell Westbrook, which caused the Thunder's All-Star guard to threaten the fan and his girlfriend. Utah investigated the exchange between Westbrook and one spectator in particular, and it decided the fan would not be welcome back at the arena in the future.

For his part in the confrontation, Westbrook was hit with a $25,000 fine from the National Basketball Association on Tuesday "for directing profanity and threatening language toward a fan".

The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up an important win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night, but there's been little focus on the game.

The second-year player released a statement on Tuesday after a verbal altercation between Westbrook and a Jazz fan went viral during the game on Monday night. On the flip side, the fan in question said that he thought the exchange was all in fun between an opposing player and fan. I just think there's got to be something done. For many years I have done all the right things and never done anything to hurt or harm anybody.

Keisel and four other fans received warning cards, but were able to return to their seats for the remainder of the game.

Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha previously teamed with Russell Westbrook for six seasons in OKC from 2008-14, where they experienced everything from an NBA Finals appearance in 2012 to a pair of Western Conference finals runs in 2011 and 2014.

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"Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment", read a statement from the Jazz.

Westbrook said he hears disrespectful things everywhere he plays, but especially in Utah. The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct. "It's truly disrespectful to the game, man". "I'm exhausted of just going out and playing, then the fans saying whatever the hell they want to say". I'm not with that. "He's not. They're coming at him first".

"He can threaten me all he wants, but don't threaten a woman", he said. "It needs to be put to a stop, especially here in Utah".

The fan later denied Westbrook's accusation in a TV interview. Are Jazz fans too rowdy?

"It's when you're in Utah and people are shouting the N-word that's tough".

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