Death Threats, ‘Westbrick’ Chants: Why L.A. Laker Russell Westbrook’s Family Fears For His Safety

The NBA player’s months long slump has sparked so much backlash from fans that his wife and loved ones don’t even want him going to games right now
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L.A. Laker Russell Westbrook is having a rough time lately, and he can’t catch a break.

The nine-time NBA All-Star, currently the middle of a months long slump, said he is facing “unfortunate” harassment from fans, who taunt him with relentless chants of “Westbrick.”

The fan harassment has escalated, he said postgame Monday after the Lakers-Spurs match, with the Lakers losing by 17 points, 117-100. The chants, harassment, calls of “Westbrick,” and the negative media is affecting his entire family, Westbrook said. It’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t even want to bring his kids to his games anymore. “I don’t want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames and other names for no reason, just for playing the game that he loves.” Also, the rest of his family, including his wife and mother, “don’t even want to go to home games, to any game… It’s super upsetting to me and I’m at a point where I’m going to continue to address it.”

A TikTok video showed Westbrook loosing his cool at a recent game and snapping at fans hectoring him, “Don’t disrespect my name.”

Earlier that Monday, Westbrook’s wife Nina revealed via Twitter that the family had received “death wishes.”

“When I’m being harassed on a daily basis over basketball games, and I’m having obscenity’s [sic] 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,” her Tweet read.

Westbrook doesn’t blame her.

“I 100 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’s reached a point where it’s really weighing on them,” Westbrook said at the postgame presser.

Even basketball bigs have little sympathy for Westbrook. Magic Johnson joined in on the fray last Saturday, proclaiming on the Lakers-Warriors pregame show that the Russell Westbrook trade could go down as the worst in Lakers history… unless they make the playoffs. “I’m tired of excuses,” he said. “It’s time to take ownership and say I’ve been playing poorly but hopefully I can turn it around.”


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