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Thunder's Russell Westbrook to father of young fan: 'Control your kids'

By Connor Grott
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had a candid conversation with the father of a young fan who poked him while siting courtside Tuesday night. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had a candid conversation with the father of a young fan who poked him while siting courtside Tuesday night. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook wants more restrictions in place to prevent fans from touching players after a young supporter pushed him in Denver on Tuesday.

Westbrook was dribbling along the left wing when Thunder center Steven Adams was called for an illegal screen in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets.

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After the whistle, Westbrook turned his back to the crowd to see the foul call. A young fan wearing a Nuggets jacket stood up and appeared to shove the guard while he had his back turned.

Westbrook turned and stared at the fan, then bent down to talk with the child and his father. The point guard detailed the conversation to reporters after the game.

"He hit me, so I told his dad, 'Be careful, you can't just have your son hitting random people,'" Westbrook said. "I don't know him and he don't know me. You just gotta control your kids, it's that simple. Be responsible for his kid, watch the game, sit there and have fun. Enjoy it."

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Westbrook said he didn't know it was a child before turning around. He used the moment to advocate for stricter boundaries when it comes to fans touching players.

"There's too much leeway for all the fans to be able to touch the players and get away with it," the Thunder star said. "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 what they want, as long as it's respectful, but the touching, to me, is off limits."

The Nuggets led the Thunder 87-71 when the incident occurred. Denver went on to defeat the Thunder 121-112.

Westbrook had 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in Oklahoma City's loss.

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