Russell Westbrook is one of those players in the NBA who will get criticized whether he does bad or good.
Even after Westbrook broke the Wizards’ franchise record for triple-doubles with a crazy stat line 35-points, 21-assists, and 14-rebounds, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was unimpressed.
“And here’s the thing about Westbrook’s big night: I don’t give a damn about any of it,” Smith said on ESPN on Tuesday morning, “because the Wizards aren’t very good. They’re not going anywhere. You’re 17-28 in the Eastern Conference for crying out loud. You’re not going anywhere, and this isn’t the first time Russell Westbrook has played on a team that has fallen short.”
Smith decided to point out all the talent Westbrook has played with over the years and how he still doesn’t have a championship.
“I just wish he used those competitive fires, that will to win, to develop his long-range game, at least a little bit,” Smith said. “If Russell Westbrook was a better 3-point shooter, could you imagine what he would’ve done? I’m here to tell you he would’ve won a championship by now.”
Westbrook’s wife, Nina, took to her Instagram story on Tuesday and dcided to go after Smith for slandering her husband.
Nina spoke about a story about watching a recent UCLA game with Russell. When Russell was in college, a commentator had criticized his game while playing with the Bruins.
“Imagine if I had listened to him,” Russell had told Nina when discussing the way commentators can influence the public perception of how good players were. “Imagine if Russell let the words of a @stephenasmith said he did not care about his accomplishments. He’d be crushed. He wouldn’t be the talent he is today if he listened to @stephenasmith tell him he wasn’t good enough, or that he could only celebrate his accomplishments if he lived up to what THEY thought he should be.”
She ended her rant with this:
“Russell is the happiest he’s ever been. Not having a championship does not ‘hurt him a lot.’ You know nothing about him. If you did, you’d know he’s way way more than a championship. He is a champion of life, a champion of his people. He doesn’t care about YOUR championship, and certainly not your opinion. He cares about his people, his community, and trying to make the world a better place.”