The Los Angeles Lakers are Westbrook’s dream. The championship lore and excitement are tailor-fitted for his eccentric presence. Westbrook could not have envisioned this season going as it has. The team sits at 28-36 with little to no chance at a championship. That elusive championship was the whole purpose of Westbrook making the move from the Washington Wizards to Los Angeles. It’s been very rough for him.
In one of his most candid NBA moments, Westbrook shared the perils of his, and his family’s time in Los Angeles. He spoke to the media after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, via Spectrum SportsNet. Please watch the entire video before weighing in on the topic:
"I stand behind my wife with how she's feeling…it's reached a point where it's really weighing on my family." @russwest44 shares his thoughts on the comments made by his wife saying she and her family are "harassed on a daily basis". pic.twitter.com/ize5TLvVnb
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) March 8, 2022
As a fan, you never hear players get deep into heckling. This was sparked after Nina Westbrook, Russell’s spouse, shared a string of Tweets over the past day or so about the ongoing insults. As described, they both have valid points on the treatment they’ve received from fans and media pundits. Especially when you consider the fact that Nina indicated that death threats were involved, something that is absolutely unacceptable when talking to people in life, let alone sports.
The natural inclination is to tell Westbrook to take it in stride. There’s already been fan pushback that this is a part of the game and that he should be fine with it given how much money he makes.
But everyone doesn’t accept fan behavior the same, though. It’s about respect at the day’s end. There can be analysis of a player supported by statistics and film. If analysts and fans keep it within those lines, it can allow us the proper arena to keep the game we love in perspective.
Westbrook has come from a lot, as depicted in his documentary last season. The mounting pressure of his personal desire to win a championship is clashing with demands from fans. As a human being first and foremost, Russell and his family deserve respect. They should be able to come to games and enjoy it, just like every fan.
Perhaps this transparency will allow us to balance our fandom and keep our favorite players in good graces.