About midway through the fourth quarter of L.A.’s Game 5 romping of the Rockets, Russell Westbrook got into a heated verbal altercation with a spectator on the sidelines, who was promptly kicked out of the arena by officials.
The spectator was later revealed to be the brother of Rajon Rondo, who called Westbrook “trash” before doing the “Dame wave” to signal his soon-to-be elimination from the playoffs.
As we await word on who will be facing the Lakers next round, this exchange has become a major sub-story, with many trying to piece together what happened.
Rockets’ Russell Westbrook repeatedly shouts “Who you talking to?” at Rajon Rondo’s brother who was seated in front row & supporting Lakers during Game 5. Austin Rivers adds, “You’ve got to go” before security escorts him out. NBA has policy restricting bubble fan conduct pic.twitter.com/w9Wb3tCXCd
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 13, 2020
After the game, Russ explained his side of things.
“People at the game, you supposed to shut your mouth and watch the game. That’s the rules, especially when you have families and people here. Apparently cause Rondo was talkin’ s**t, he decided he wanted to hop in, too. But it’s okay it’s all good, I get it. He want to stick up for his brother.
Those rules stand for everybody though, no matter who it is — family, whatever. When you cross that line, you supposed to be at home. There’s no rules or regulations for that but he started talking crazy I don’t play that.”
Russ explains his altercation with Rondo’s brother: pic.twitter.com/E0OkTjuzVg
— FadeawayWorld (@FadeawayWorld) September 13, 2020
Many fans are flaming Westbrook for being “soft” or “sensitive,” and they may be right. If the reports are true, and all Rondo’s brother did was call him trash, then Russ should’ve been able to keep his cool.
But these guests were told of the rules before they arrived in Orlando, and there’s a reason why the NBA warned them against trash-talking the players.
Nonetheless, the whole thing is history now. Despite whatever objections Westbrook may have had, he’ll have to set those feelings aside now as his focus shifts to improving and honing his game in the offseason.