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Russell Westbrook says he’s done with ‘Westbrick’ taunts, family has been subject to harassment


Russell Westbrook is fed up.

The Lakers guard and his wife say that their family has been subject to harassment this season, including death threats from fans upset about his play and the Lakers’ season. Westbrook gave a lengthy statement after Monday’s loss to the Spurs, announcing that he will no longer allow his name to be sullied, specifically mentioning that he has had enough with the “Westbrick” nickname.

I 100 percent stand behind my wife and how she’s feeling. 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.

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].’

‘Westbrick,’ for example, to me, is now shaming,” he said, referring to a condescending nickname that makes the rounds online seemingly whenever he has a poor performance. “It’s shaming my name, my legacy for my kids. It’s a name that means, not just to me, but to my wife, to my mom, my dad, the ones that kind of paved the way for me.

A lot of times, I let it slide. But now it’s time to put a stop to that and put it on notice,” he said. “There’s a difference. We need to make sure it’s understood. And every time I do hear it now, I will make sure that I address it and make sure I nip that in the bud.

It affects them even going to games. Like, I don’t even want to bring my kids to the game because I don’t want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames and other names for no reason because he’s playing the game that he loves. And it’s gotten so bad where my family don’t even want to go to home games, to any game … and it’s just super unfortunate, man. And it’s super upsetting to me.

I’m at a point where I’m going to continue to address it. It’s just unfortunate.

Westbrook, who is making over $44 million this season and it set to make $47 million next season, is having a rough season by his standards, averaging 18.1 points on 43.4% shooting from the field, 28.4% from 3 and 67% from the foul line, to go with 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 4.0 turnovers per game.

Westbrook was brought in this offseason to help lead the Lakers to another title, but Los Angeles has been one of the most disappointing teams in the league, currently sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference (28-36).

 

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