Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has opened up about harassment he has experienced in his first season with the legendary NBA team.
After the Lakers loss to the Spurs on March 7, Westbrook addressed the hateful criticism, including death threats, from fans.
The father of three stated, “This is just a game. When it comes to basketball, I don’t mind the criticism of missing and making shots. But the moment it becomes where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.”
He also added, “I’ve kind of let it go in the past because it never really bothered me. But it really kind of hit me the other day. Me and my wife were at teacher-parent conferences for my son. And the teacher told me, ’Noah, he’s so proud of his last name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody and walks around and says, ‘I’m Westbrook.’ … And I kind of sat there in shock, and it hit me, like, ‘Damn. I can no longer allow people [to besmirch my name].’”
Westbrook also reflected on his wife Nina Westbrook’s comments about the harassment their family has faced during a recent postgame press conference, saying, “I 100 percent stand behind my wife and how she’s feeling.”
In case you missed it, Nina Westbrook wrote on Twitter, “When I’m being harassed on a daily basis over basketball games, and I’m having obscenity’s [sic] and death wishes for me and my family sent my way because you’re expressing your ‘truth’, it’s hard for me to get on board with that.”
Westbrook joined the Lakers in the 2021 season. Previously, he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards. This is his fourth team in four seasons, according to ESPN.