Russell Westbrook's reputation in the NBA is that he is a competitor. He goes out on the floor every game and puts in the maximum effort that he can. Russell Westbrook is one of the players that can simply will his team to winning, and he will try to go at anyone who stands in his way.
Russell Westbrook's a player that can simply flip a switch, and just go for a triple-double at any moment. That is precisely the reason that Joe Ingles suggests that you shouldn't trash talk Russell Westbrook. Ingles was on Duncan Robinson's The Long Shot Podcast, and detailed how Russell Westbrook can turn it up within a very short span of time. (1:15)
I think Russ is one of those guys. You go at him the wrong way or say the wrong thing or get into it with him on a dead ball or whatever it is, it takes him one second and he can go for 20-20-20. Like we've seen that before.
Russell Westbrook can instill fear in opposing defenses if he's going all-out during a matchup. His athleticism makes it hard for players to challenge him at the rim, and he never lacks confidence in himself. Once Westbrook gets hot, it's extremely difficult to stop him. That is why trash-talking him is so risky because you risk him lighting up your team. As a defender, sometimes trash-talking is one of the strategies that you use to get in your head. While Joe Ingles does trash talk on the court, he knows that Russell Westbrook is someone you do not agitate.