Russell Westbrook And Wife Respond To “Death Wishes” From Lakers Fans

NBA superstar Russell Westbrook has been publicly maligned for his underwhelming play since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, but according to his wife, Nina Westbrook, that criticism has evolved into “death wishes” against the former MVP and his family.

In what many deemed as a response aimed towards longtime Westbrook critic Skip Bayless, whom wrote that he will “continue to tell the truth” in regards to her husband’s performance, Nina chided Bayless for his approach to critiquing Westbrook and lack of “responsibility.”

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“It’s very important to understand the difference between name calling and ‘telling one’s truth,’” Nina posted on Twitter. “It’s even more important when you have a platform and a network to share your ‘truths’ with millions of people. It requires a certain level of responsibility.” She continued, adding, “When I’m being harassed on a daily basis over basketball games, and I’m having obscenities 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.”

Following his wife’s comments, Russell publicly backed her statements, admitting the toll that the public backlash has taken on his wife and family. “I 100% stand behind my wife and… it’s not just about this year,” he said. “Right now, she’s reached a point and my family has reached a point to where it’s really weighing on them and it’s very unfortunate just for me personally because this is just a game. This is not end all be all. 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.”

Entering the 2021–2022 NBA regular season as title contenders, the Lakers, who acquired Westbrook via a blockbuster trade last summer, have been among the league’s biggest disappointments. Currently sitting at 9th in the Western Conference, the Lakers’ issues have been largely attributed to Westbrook’s lackluster play, as he is averaging 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and a steal per game this season, a drastic drop-off from his performance in recent years.

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