Russell Westbrook has probably endured the toughest phase of his career in this season, both on and off the court. But in the last few matches, he has redeemed himself by producing some noteworthy performances. The former NBA MVP still has a long way to go with the Los Angeles Lakers, but its heartening to see that he’s trying to deliver on the faith the Lakers had shown on him at the start of the season.
The veteran point guard has been heavily scrutinized for his performances this year, with even Lakers fans heckling and trolling him after every game. Things haven’t been easy for him, and even though he has been backed by his teammates and coaches, many fans are just waiting to target him.
“He’s LA, He Loves The City So When They Boo Him It’s Actually Personal For Him”: Arenas On Russell Westbrook
Recently, Gilbert Arenas discussed this topic on his ‘No Chill’ podcast, claiming that when Russ gets booed in Los Angeles, he takes it personally given his relationship with the city.
“When you get booed at home it mentally destroys you. Home is like my family. Home is my brothers and my sisters. Home is where the person is hyping you even if you’re going to lose. Those friends he kept, don’t, that’s his home crowd. Hyping him out, ‘you can do it, we can do it.’ Imagine if he was getting ready to rap and they start booing him. That deflates him. That’s what happened. That happened to Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard was the second-leading scorer on that team. He couldn’t even play. He should have been playing, he’s averaging 17 and 12. They booing him. I want no part of it. You’re not booing Steve Nash for not playing well. You’re not booing Gasol, who was playing horribly. You booing me? I don’t want no part of this. You can see it in his eyes, like everything he has to second guess. It’s the confidence. Personally didn’t even think Westbrook’s confidence could get shook. He’s LA, he loves the city so when they boo him it’s actually personal for him.”
Russell could be empathized for all the outside noise he and his family has had to face. It seemed he couldn’t gel with LeBron James and the Lakers at the start of his tenure but things are falling in place now. Maybe it’s not too late as the Lakers can make the postseason via the play-in tournament, and any team that faces an inspired LeBron and Westbrook would take them lightly at their own peril.