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NBA

Lakers: Russell Westbrook responds to death threats: "My family don't want to go to games"

Russell Westbrook and his wife Nina have hit back at abuse against the Lakers star: "When it comes to basketball, I don't mind the criticism"

Update:
Lakers: Russell Westbrook responds to death threats: "My family don't want to go to games"
Gary A. Vasquez USA Today Sports

Criticism of Russell Westbrook’s performances for the LA Lakers has reached breaking point and the NBA star has hit back after reportedly receiving death threats. Westbrook, the 2016-17 MVP and a nine-times All-Star, and his wife Nina, have spoken out against the abuse the player has been receiving since his trade to the Lakers from the Wizards after the line was crossed by online threats against the player and his family.

"Childish and disrespectful"

The insults Westbrook has been on the end of have been described by the player as “denigrating” – for example, Lakers fans often refer to him as “Westbrick” in reference to his shooting struggles this season – but recently they have escalated to the point where Nina Westbrook felt compelled to denounce the abuse.When I’m being harassed on a daily basis over basketball games, and I’m having obscenity’s and death wishes for me and my family sent my way because you’re expressing your “truth”, it’s hard for me to get on board with that.”

She also called out sports commentator Skip Bayless for his coverage of her husband, describing it as “childish and disrespectful.”

Westbrook: "Where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue"

"I 100 percent stand behind my wife and how she's feeling," Westbrook said after the Lakers’ 117-110 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. "When it comes to basketball, I don't mind the criticism of missing and making shots. But the moment it becomes where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.

"I've kind of let it go in the past because it never really bothered me. But it really kind of hit me the other day. Me and my wife were at teacher-parent conferences for my son. And the teacher told me, 'Noah, he's so proud of his last name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody and walks around and says, 'I'm Westbrook.' ... And I kind of sat there in shock, and it hit me, like, 'Damn. I can no longer allow people [to besmirch my name].'

"Like, I don't even want to bring my kids to the game because I don't want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames and other names for no reason because he's playing the game that he loves. And it's gotten so bad where my family don't even want to go to home games, to any game ... and it's just super unfortunate, man. And it's super upsetting to me."

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