Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook indicated that the harassment directed toward him has gotten bad enough that his family no longer wants to attend his games.
“It affects them even going to games,” Westbrook said. “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 was acquired during this past offseason and was expected to be a central part of the Lakers’ drive to another NBA championship.
That vision has crumbled partly due to chemistry issues involving Westbrook’s presence in the lineup. Entering Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets, the Lakers are 28-36 and not even assured of a spot in the postseason.
Westbrook’s numbers have slipped somewhat from his peak, even though he’s still offering the Lakers all-around ability. In 63 games, he’s averaged 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.0 steal per contest.
Westbrook is serving as the main target of frustration by Lakers fans. That could be one reason why he and the team reportedly have “mutual interest” in finding him a new home this coming offseason.
Such trade efforts were pursued prior to last month’s trade deadline, with Lakers coaches reportedly eager to move on from Westbrook. Those attempts, of course, were unsuccessful.
Given his years of playing basketball, Westbrook is surely well aware of how fans can react when things don’t go according to plan. However, it’s clear that such reactions have gone far beyond simple booing, which explains his anger.