Jazz Issue Lifetime Ban to Fan for 2018 Incident with Russell Westbrook

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook brings the ball up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Two days after issuing a permanent ban to fan Shane Keisel for his interaction with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, the Utah Jazz banned another fan for a previous incident involving Westbrook.

According to Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News on Friday, the latest fan was banned for "degrading and offensive conduct" against Westbrook during a playoff game last season.

Woodyard tweeted video of a fan calling Westbrook "boy" prior to Game 4 of last season's playoff series between the Jazz and Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on April 23:

Per Woodyard, the Jazz conducted an investigation and tracked down the fan in the video. A source told Woodyard, "The Jazz aren't taking these matters lightly."

Part of the verbal altercation between Westbrook and Keisel during Monday's game was caught on camera, and it featured Westbrook threatening the fan and his wife (Warning: Some language NSFW):

After the game, Westbrook told reporters that he felt Keisel made racist comments toward him:

Westbrook was also punished for his role in the incident with a $25,000 fine from the NBA.

Prior to Thursday's home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jazz owner Gail Miller addressed the crowd, per ESPN:

"I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote 'fans' conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena, but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA.

"This should never happen. We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. From time to time, individual fans exhibit poor behavior and forget their manners and disrespect players on other teams. When that happens, I want you to jump up and shout 'stop.' We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced."

The Jazz and Thunder are not scheduled to face each other again during the regular season, but Westbrook could still find himself back at Vivint Smart Arena by the time the 2018-19 campaign reaches its conclusion.

OKC is currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and Utah is No. 6, meaning they could potentially position themselves for another first-round playoff series meeting if there is some slight movement in the standings down the stretch.