Russell Westbrook Speaks Out About Harassment: ‘It’s Really Weighing on My Family’

Russell Westbrook is no stranger to criticism, having faced plenty since he first stepped into the League as the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft.

There have been high expectations for the Lakers (28-36) this season, especially with the addition of Westbrook. Westbrook’s performance, in particular, has become the subject of constant critique and scrutiny. The criticism has gotten to a point where his wife, Nina, stood up for him on social media after Skip Bayless, co-host of Skip & Shannon: Undisputed on Fox Sports 1, referred to Westbrook as “Westbrick.”

After the Lakers lost to the Spurs on Monday, 117-110, Russ said he felt it was necessary to protect his last name and the legacy that comes with it after he and his wife were told at a parent-teacher conference that his son, Noah, was proud of his last name and tells everyone, “I’m a Westbrook. That’s my last name.”

“It hit me, like damn. I can no longer allow people—saying Westbrick, as an example—shaming my name. My name is a legacy for my kids. It’s a name that means more, not just to me but to my wife, my mom, my dad. The ones that kind of paved the way for me,” Westbrook said. “That’s just one example. It kind of hit myself and my wife in a place where it’s not great, man. And I think a lot of times I let it slide, but now I need to put a stop to that and put on notice that there is a difference, and every time I do hear it now, I will make sure that I address it and make sure that I nip that in the bud.”

While it’s evident that the season hasn’t gone as planned, Westbrook has cemented himself as one of the all-time greatest basketball players after becoming synonymous with the triple-double, winning an MVP, sticking with the Thunder for 11 seasons, and helping to lead them to a Finals appearance in 2012.

The Lakers will take on the Houston Rockets on Thursday.