There are many ways fans cross the line when heckling players, and Russell Westbrook thinks the new nickname people are taunting him with does just that.
Skip Bayless recently started making fun of Westbrook by calling him “Westbrick”, which is a pun involving Westbrook’s last name and his poor shooting streaks. Westbrook’s wife, Nina, said this week that the FS1 host’s taunting led to harassment and death wishes for his family.
After Westbrook scored 17 points on just 5 of 14 shooting in Monday night’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, he told reporters he was supporting his wife. The 33-year-old said he would not tolerate people disrespecting his name.
“When it comes to basketball, I don’t mind the criticism of misses and hits,” Westbrook said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “But the moment my name gets shamed, it becomes a problem.”
Westbrook said he decided to push back against the “Westbrick” taunts after his son’s teacher told him and his wife how proud their son was of his last name. Russell said calling him “Westbrick” was “putting my name to shame”.
“‘Westbrick’, for example, to me is shameful now,” Westbrook said. “It puts my name to shame, my legacy to my children. It’s a name that means, not only to me, but also to my wife, my mother, my father, those who kind of paved the way for me .
During the third quarter of Monday’s game, Westbrook clashed with a fan who called him “Westbrick.” He could be heard saying to the fan: “don’t disrespect my name”.