Lakers Star Russell Westbrook Fires Back Over Viral Video

Russell Westbrook

Getty Images Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Russell Westbrook took some time to tell his side of the story after some viral video started circulating of him seemingly ignoring his Los Angeles Lakers teammates during Wednesday’s preseason tilt against the Timberwolves.

All of Westbrook’s interactions are under extra scrutiny as the season approaches due to his standing with the franchise. The Lakers have been trying to trade Westbrook after a disappointing first season in LA but he has remained a member of the squad with the start of the season inching closer.

One video showed Westbrook by himself on the bench getting ready as the rest of the Lakers huddled up after introductions. While it didn’t look great, the former MVP said it’s something he’s done during his career prior to games.

“Pregame, I’ve been doing that since I’ve been in the league for years, man,” Westbrook said after practice Thursday. “I think they just cut the video and obviously the internet is going to take it and run with whatever they need to run with. But, I’ve been doing the same ritual since I’ve been in the league.”

Westbrook on Criticism: ‘I’m Just Trying to Compete’

Another video that circulated clipped from the broadcast appeared to show Westbrook blowing off Patrick Beverley has he tried to rally the team as he called for a huddle during a stoppage in play.

“As far as the other video, I was actually talking to the coaches and they cut that video in half as well,” Westbrook said. “I was talking to the coaches about a missed coverage. So, I don’t pay no mind to it, man.

“Honestly I’m just trying to compete and do my job. Everything, videos, get nitpicked. You can cut any video and make anything you want out of it. It’s not up to me to be able to judge that. I know I’m a genuine team player. I’ve never had a problem being with my teammates, so I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing.”

The Lakers added Beverley to the roster this offseason via trade, which became an interesting situation of its own considering his history with Westbrook. The two had talked their share of trash to each other over the years but have put that behind them as teammates, with Beverley even dubbing Westbrook his best friend on the team.

Beverley was unaware of any kind of situation with Westbrook when asked about the clip.

“If I don’t know something happened, then I can’t really address something that I don’t know happened,” Beverley said, per ESPN. “Everything’s great. I sit on the plane, he’s right next to me. We get on the road, we hang out together.”

Westbrook’s Wife Unhappy With Slander

The clips took on a life of their own online, with critcism of Westbrook running wild.

“90% of this app didn’t watch Russ in OKC or anywhere he’s been at all and it shows every single day,” one user wrote, with photos and video of Westbrook in Oklahoma City and Houston doing similar things. “Look at Russ he didn’t wanna be in OKC or Houston for 12 years!”

Westbrook’s wife, Nina, responded with a short message, writing: “Smh. And it begins.”

Westbrook spoke out last year during his rough run with the Lakers about being booed and nicknamed “Westbrick.”

“It affects [my family] even going to games,” Westbrook said in March. “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.”

At this point, the only thing that will slow down the vitriol is success on the court and Westbrook is doing his best to stay focused.

“I’m very used to it. And I’m very accustomed to it. That’s why I’ve just been blessed and thankful to be able to continue to play each year and keep my head down and continue competing. And whatever comes with the extra stuff, comes with it. It’s not up to me to be able to make videos and things for the internet. I just go out and do my job.”

The Lakers have one more preseason game on Friday before opening the season on October 18 against the Warriors.

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