Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Emotionally Sounds off on ‘Westbrick’ Taunts

Russell Westbrook

Getty Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has been called “Russell Westbrick” this season by fans at games and people on social media since he’s struggling to shoot the ball. The one-time MVP is shooting 43.3% from the field, 28.2% from beyond the arc and 66.5% from the free-throw line.

After the Lakers lost to the San Antonio Spurs on March 7, Westbrook talked about the “Westbrick” insults and said he won’t allow them to happen anymore.

“A lot of times, I let it slide,” Westbrook said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “But now it’s time to put a stop to that and put it on notice. 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.”

Late in the third quarter against the Spurs, Westbrook was captured on a courtside attendee’s phone shouting at a fan, “Yo, don’t disrespect my name.” The San Antonio fan was yelling “Westbrick” at the Lakers guard, who believes the taunt is offensive.

Westbrook Says ‘Westbrick’ Nickname Is Shaming

Westbrook and his wife, Nina, have three kids: 4-year-old Noah and twin 3-year-old daughters, Jordyn and Skye. The All-Star says the “Westbrick” nickname is shaming his name and the legacies of his parents and kids.

“It’s shaming my name, my legacy for my kids,” Westbrook said, via McMenamin. “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. 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 has been booed by Lakers fans at home games and his wife Nina has received death threats. As a result, Westbrook’s wife and kids don’t come to Arena.

Westbrook: My Wife and Kids Don’t Come to Home Games

Westbrook said the harsh treatment from Lakers fans has caused his family to avoid attending his games in person lately. Los Angeles is in ninth place in the Western Conference standings and Westbrook has become the poster boy for the team’s struggles since he’s the highest-paid player on the roster.

“It affects them even going to games,” Westbrook said, via McMenamin. “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.”

Westbrook’s homecoming to Los Angeles hasn’t gone well, so it will be interesting to see if he’s on a new team next season.

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