In the light of the Twitter exchange between Nina Westbrook, Russell Westbrook's wife, and Skip Bayless, Brodie defended Nina's statements and wants everyone to stop shaming his name.
Westbrick no more
When Russell Westbrook plays well, he's called many things: "Beastbrook," "Mr. Triple-Double," or "MVP," but when things go south, he's "Westbrick" or "Stat Padder." Fans have been exercising their brains to come up with names to support or bash Brodie. However, he wants you to stop calling him "Westbrick" because his family and loved ones are getting involved.
"I a hundred percent stand behind my wife and how she's feeling, because it's not just about this year. Right now, she's reached a point, and my family has reached a point, to where it's really weighing on them. And it's very unfortunate just for me personally because it's just a game. This is just a game. This is not end-all, be-all. And 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 just because it never really bothered me, but it really kind of hit me the other day, honestly. Me and my wife was at teacher-parent conference for my son, and the teacher told me, she's like, "Noah, he's so proud of his last name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody, he walks around and says, "I'm Westbrook. Westbrook, that's my last name." And I kind of sat there in shock. And it hit me, like damn, I can no longer allow people – for example, Westbrick, to me, is now shaming. It's like shaming my name. It's my legacy for my kids. It's a name that means more, not just to me, but to my wife, my mom, my dad are he ones that kind of paved the way for me. And that's just one example. I mean, that 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 it's now time to put a stop to that and put it on notice there is a difference, and we need to make sure it's understood. 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."
Westbrook has a point as a father who wants to protect his family and their heritage. But as a public figure, this kind of criticism is part of the deal he signed up for. He's making millions of dollars playing a sport he loves doing, and, naturally, people criticize him if he's not performing on a level everyone expected. A non-performing worker gets reprimanded or receives a notice from the management to step up or risk losing his job. For Russell, all he needs to do is stop turning the ball over so many times and start making his shots. If the former MVP stops doing these two things, you can expect more people will stop with their criticism.
So, is Westbrook saying he should get a pass from name-calling because he has a family to protect? What makes Brodie think he should be spared from being called names when his poor game affects his team's playoff chances this season?
Shannon Sharpe reacts
Shannon Sharpe didn't mince words when asked about his reaction about the issue. He claimed Russell needs to play better. That's it. A sentiment shared by bashers and supporters.
"Play better. They didn't call him boy. They didn't call him a monkey... They called him Westbrick, because it seems like everything that he shoots is a brick."
Sharpe added that there was no mention of the N-word or anything to degrade Brodie as a human being. All the name-calling was rooted in his struggle to shoot the ball. For someone who would make at least $40 million, he should be playing well enough to justify the paycheck.
Brodie should know better, as he's been in the league long enough. Criticisms or name-calling are part of the industry he's in, and without them, how can players improve? Yes, he was hurt, and his family got involved, but he has to play better. L.A. Lakers fans are not fools; they know when a player plays well or if he struggles and does nothing about it. Westbrook needs to start playing better, and the name-calling will stop.