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Thunder ball boy under investigation for ‘death threats’ sent to Patrick Beverley following injury to Russell Westbrook

Apr 28, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two Getty Images

When it was learned that Russell Westbrook would be lost for the rest of the playoffs due to a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee that required surgery, there were sure to be some Thunder fans upset with the way one of their team’s best players was injured.

Westbrook collided with Patrick Beverley of the Rockets in the second quarter of Game 2, on a play where Beverley was trying to get a steal just as the Thunder were readying to call a timeout. While there was certainly no intent on Beverley’s part to injure Westbrook, there are some fans on the more extreme end of the spectrum that may not see it that way.

One of them, apparently, took to Twitter to reach out to Beverley directly, and did so in a manner that has them under investigation by the authorities.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The vitriol about the play in which Westbrook suffered a season-ending knee injury escalated to death threats directed at Beverley, including one from someone who describes himself as a Thunder ball boy.

[He] sent a tweet that threatened, “Patrick Beverly (sic), I’m coming to kill you.” He sent another using Beverley’s Twitter handle; “@pavbev21 I’m coming to kill you.”

Capt. Dexter Nelson, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said officers in conjunction with the Houston Police Department and the NBA are looking into what he described as “Internet threats.”

Thunder spokesperson Matt Tumbleson said: “We do not condone his comments. He works game nights on a voluntary basis. We will handle this matter internally.”

In this age of Twitter where athletes are often subjected to horrific threats and slurs by anonymous people, when we actually have a real person attached to something like this that can be held responsible, we need to make sure there are consequences.

A forced apology or saying your account was “hacked” in a situation like this should not be enough to get this person off the hook with a mere slap on the wrist, and “handling the matter internally” is in no way an appropriate response.

If in fact the person who sent these comments Beverley’s way works for the Thunder in any capacity, the league needs to step in and make sure that immediately becomes a thing of the past.

  1. jeff6381 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    A lot of people are just internet gangsters they type these things to players and leave hateful comments on the comments section but in the real world are cowards. Threatening someone’s life over that is stupid sports is suppose to be fun and guys like that take it to the extreme.

    • andrewproughcfe - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      The dude probably has his junior membership card to “Anonymous”.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      David Stern will be quite upset, oh boy!

  2. xLith - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Classless. If he’s old enough, prosecute this internet commando.

  3. jhuck92 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    This ball boy is what gamers would call an “Xbox thug.”

  4. money2long - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    can never be too sure. it feels like a lot of people are snapping in this world today, so u never know. i wonder wat beverly is thinking, probably, it’s just the internet, but there’s always that voice in the back of your mind that says, well, what if this weirdo was serious ?

  5. patfic15 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Please kid. Did me a favor. Now Durant has to be the man.

  6. mazblast - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Every time I think I’ve seen the dumbest thing possible, I’m proven wrong.

    This is idiotic, even by the standards of my long-ago home of OKC.

  7. jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    The fool never heard of disappearing ink.

  8. ortizmari27 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    This happens to me a lot on madden13 online,to many sore losers.

  9. melkipershero - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Do something stupid on twitter….blame it on a hacker. Who would hack a ballboys twitter? GTFOH

  10. wgray981 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I highly doubt those were serious tweets. Let the guy go with a warning.

    • mazblast - Apr 29, 2013 at 1:30 AM

      Oh, yeah, warning someone to stay away from someone/not do something is always so effective, like psychotics really listen to people in authority telling them not to do it.

      How many cases have we read about in which someone got away with a warning despite everyone saying the threatening person should be locked up, and promptly did what they said they were going to do?

      Fortunately, this is Oklahoma, and if that state is anything like the way it was when I lived there nearly 30 years ago, the authorities won’t let this go with a warning and a slap on the wrist.

  11. badintent - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    And on th eother end of the spectrum , we have Brian Burke suing 18 Twtterheads for slander , claiming he sleep with Hazel Mae. I mean , hasn’t everyone slept with Hazel in Boston and Toronto ? Why should Brain be left out ? Just kidding……………………………………………

  12. dysraw1 - May 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    its truely amazing how stupid people can be, of all the places send a death threat this genius uses the net boy its phenomenal the jobs our educators are doing or perhaps this guy never developed a little thing called common sense

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