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Russell Westbrook during game two against the Philadelphia 76ers (USA TODAY Sports)

Russell Westbrook during game two against the Philadelphia 76ers (USA TODAY Sports)

An NBA season-ticket holder was banned by both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Wells Fargo Centre after throwing a bag of popcorn on Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook.

The team and stadium announced the ban on Thursday after Westbrook was given the snack shower during the Sixers’ 120-95 victory against the Wizards on Wednesday.

Speaking after the game, Westbrook said “to be blatantly honest this s— is getting out of hand, especially for me”.

Video of the incident showed a man dump a bag on Westbrook as he was leaving the court with an injury. Officials had to restrain the player as he headed into the locker room.

“The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f— they want to do. It’s just out of pocket man,” he said.

“There are certain things that cross the line, and any other setting I know for a fact that fans, they wouldn’t up, wouldn’t come to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens… in these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does,” he added.

Westbrook only waited less than a day to find out how the NBA would respond, with the 76ers announcing they would revoke the season ticket membership effective immediately.

“We apologise to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unacceptable and disrespectful behaviour,” the team said.

The fan was also banned from all events at the Wells Fargo Centre, which also hosts non-NBA events like performers Blake Shelton, Harry Styles, and Dude Perfect.

The arena’s president of business operations, Valerie Camillo, said in a statement they wouldn’t tolerate “classless, unacceptable behaviour”.

“We’re proud to have the most passionate fans in the country and the best home-court and home-ice advantage around, but this type of behaviour has no place in our arena,” she said.

Activist and LA Lakers player LeBron James called on the National Basketball Association in a tweet to reveal the identity of the fan to #ProtectOurPlayers.

“By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!!” he said in the tweet.

“There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the [athletic shoe emoji] was on the other [foot emoji] [movie camera emoji]”.

James’ former teammate Kevin Durant said “It’s all fun and games until ya ass banned for life”, while Twitter user Josh @MantyGolf agreed about keeping players safe but asked “can we talk about how @russwest44 reacted like it was acid being thrown at him instead of popcorn?”

Following player outcry, including from the National Basketball Players Association that said fan conduct should be investigated by law enforcement, the NBA said the incident would lead to “enhanced” rules for fans that would be “vigorously enforced”.

“The return of more NBA fans to our arena has brought great excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is critical that we all show respect for players, officials and our fellow fans,” the statement said.

“An enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved.”

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