Russell Westbrook’s 0-6 start with the Los Angeles Lakers has seen him make more of an impact due to his run-ins with fans than anything he has actually done on the court.
Last week, Westbrook went viral for slapping a fan who was getting on his nerves.
This week, it was more of the same.
During Thursday’s outing between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings, this exchange between Westbrook and someone sitting courtside immediately went viral:
Russ wasn’t trying to hear it from this fan sitting courtside 😅
(via genegetsmoney/IG) pic.twitter.com/kvuG0mW8qi
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 15, 2021
Opinions will obviously vary on who is in the right and who is in the wrong here. Social media’s response seemed mixed:
Russ don’t be giving a fuck https://t.co/X2cMvEkR8h
— QualoMontana™ (@qualo_so_savage) October 16, 2021
I swear I love Westbrook https://t.co/CSK8nReVeV
— #3ForWade (@AkeishaL) October 16, 2021
I think I like Russ more as an asshole then an actual player https://t.co/lEqWE0kVwe
— Clu (@ASAP_Drew19) October 16, 2021
He’s so mean omg https://t.co/QLIFvAOruw
— (@OneAndOnlyDij) October 15, 2021
making the ninja turtle mad https://t.co/rA6qlCHUxO
— SucramSage (@Jedi_Sager) October 15, 2021
Regardless of how you feel about Westbrook’s interactions with fans, there is no denying that his preseason run with LA left something to be desired.
In his first three games with the Lakers he recorded 20 turnovers in fairly limited minutes. Although he calmed down a bit by the end of the preseason, he still looked very much out-of-sync with the rest of his teammates.
It’s telling that Carmelo Anthony had a much easier time adjusting to his new surroundings than Westbrook did.
Westbrook, meanwhile, has vacillated between abject saltiness and thoughtful introspection when pressed on his slow start.
Rajon Rondo’s 4-word description of Russell Westbrook. https://t.co/nKoKbk8OXM
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 14, 2021
Clearly it’s still early, but the Lakers really need Westbrook to get right. The reason why they’re viewed by many as a legitimate championship contender is because they have a Big 3. He is a core piece of that.
As such, Westbrook’s energies would be far better spent getting better on the court than continually getting into petty run-ins with fans off it.
Related: How Kawhi Leonard Really Feels About Toronto Raptors