Russell Westbrook and his wife Nina Earl had a couple of things to say to ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith after the latter went off on Westbrook following his 35-point, 21-assist, 14-rebound triple-double on Monday night. Brodie joined Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only three players to have a 30/20/10 triple-double in NBA history but that didn't seem to impress Stephen A.
The veteran said that all these numbers didn't matter if Russ doesn't win a championship. He has been great individually speaking but once he had to step up and lead his teams to the promised land, Westbrook didn't have the best luck. This has earned him a lot of criticism, including Smith's.
“And here’s the thing about Westbrook’s big night: I don’t give a damn about any of it,” Smith said on Tuesday. “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.”
“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.”
Brodie was asked about these remarks on Tuesday and the player made it clear that once he entered the NBA, he felt like a champion. Even if he doesn't win a ring in his career, he feels like he already won by making it to the biggest stage of basketball.
"That’s how my life’s been since Day 1. I’ve been playing basketball for my whole life. Like my wife mentioned [on Instagram], it’s important that you don’t let people deter you from your goal, deter you from your plan, deter you from the things you have destined in this world. A prime example is I watch these college games and these kids and these announcers, man, they get on the TV and say anything about a kid. They don’t know him, they don’t know his family, they don’t know where he’s from. They don’t know his struggles, they don’t know his pain; they don’t know anything about the kid. But one thing said on TV can determine how you perceive this kid on TV," Westbrook said."I sit back, I don’t say much. I don’t like to go back and forth about people. But one thing I won’t allow to happen anymore is let people create narratives and constantly talking s--- for no reason about me because I lay it on the line every night. And I use my platform to be able to help people all across the world. Nobody can take that away from me. I’ve been blessed to be able to have a platform to do it. A championship won’t change my life. I’m happy. I was a champion once I made it to the NBA. I grew up in the streets. I’m a champion. I don’t have to be an NBA champion," he said.
Moreover, his wife Nina took to social media to call out Smith and said that every time her husband plays bad, the slander is huge and now, whenever he has an outstanding game, people try to bring him down.
“So… how tiring it is to be minding your own business and have notifications pop up on your phone about people being negative and hating on your family,” Nina Westbrook wrote on her Instagram Stories in response to Smith’s commentary. “There are several things wrong with what @stephenasmith says here.”
“Ironically, Russell makes history and @stephenasmith comes out of nowhere to share his non-congratulations,” she wrote. “When he does bad we hear about it, when he does will we don’t hear about it OR @stephenasmith has to make sure that his accomplishments are diminished. Respectfully, I’m not a fan of yours.”
“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 that he is way 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.”
The Westbrook family is very happy right now and Russ must be happy with all the things he's done on the court. He could have done more? Probably, but he's already a Hall of Famer and people should not doubt that. If you mess with this man, he will fire back and his wife will support him, too.