A Philadelphia 76ers fan was escorted from his courtside seat in the first quarter of Wednesday's season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he flipped off Russell Westbrook with a pair of middle fingers, according to NBA TV's Jared Greenberg.
The fan gestured toward Westbrook after the Thunder point guard finished a scoop layup through contact.
SportsCenter on Instagram relayed a video of the fan's actions and Westbrook's priceless reaction:
The Sixers finished the first quarter leading by one, but Westbrook got the last laugh.
OKC's floor general finished with a game-high 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in the Thunder's 103-97 win, and he took the high road when asked about the fan after the game, according to ESPN.com's Royce Young:
On Thursday, the fan, identified as Dr. Richard Harkaway, posted an explanation on Facebook, via Chris Yuscavage of Complex.com:
To all my FB friends who are seeing a picture of me on the internet giving the finger to Russell Westbrook. Actually two fingers. Not as simple as it seems. I love to scream at the players and anyone who has been to a game with me knows this. Part of my charm. What you may not have seen on any of the video clips is what started the whole thing, which was Russell Westbrook saying, 'sit down f— fat boy,' when I stood up to boo….I am sometimes sensitive about my plumpness. I guess I got a little out of hand.
If Westbrook's performance was a preview of what's to come, he should continue to shred defenses and frustrate opposing fans all season as the focal point of OKC's attack.
As for the Sixers, they'll hope the spotlight shines on rookies such as Joel Embiid and Dario Saric as opposed to the antics of a few unruly fans.