Russell Westbrook spoke out on Monday night about treatment from fans that he feels like has crossed the line for him and his family, and by the next morning, Lakers legend Magic Johnson, current teammate Kent Bazemore and Spurs guard Dejounte Murray had spoken out in support of the future Hall of Famer.
Johnson’s message was strongest, directly calling out the “death wishes” Westbrook’s wife, Nina, said the family has received, and asking Lakers fans to support the Westbrooks.
Laker Nation, it's our responsibility to come together and support Russell Westbrook and his family. Threats and attacks on the Westbrook family are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. There's no place in sports for this type of behavior, period. @russwest44— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 8, 2022
He also pointed out that this level of negativity, pragmatically, is also not necessarily helping fans get what they want, either:
Russell plays an important role on the @Lakers team and will be a key component to the success of the rest of the season and the NBA Playoffs. Let's do better, rally around the Westbrook family, and support them. @russwest44— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 8, 2022
Somewhat ironically, Johnson himself did appear to have a Freudian slip and call Westbrook by the “Westbrick” moniker he took such strong exception to on Monday during an earlier appearance on NBA countdown over the weekend.
Magic Johnson calls Russell Westbrook " Westbrick " during NBA Countdown show... pic.twitter.com/6fWhxfzFwi— Jordan Nichols (@JordanN1333272) March 6, 2022
Still, Johnson’s larger point from his tweets that this level of toxicity is unnecessary and wrong is well taken, even if it’s hard not to wonder if his verbal slip-up is part of what finally prompted the Westbrook family to speak out, given the timing.
Either way, as stated above, it wasn’t just one of the most legendary former Lakers speaking out in support of Westbrook. Shortly after his comments, Bazemore also posted a message of support for his teammate:
And the next morning, Westbrook’s opponent from Monday night had also spoken out about the treatment Westbrook has received:
Through All The BS And Disrespect On Russ Name “THEY” Can Never Take Away His Greatness And Who He Is As A Person… The REAL Forever With You And NEVER Against You My Brother @russwest44 Believe That!!! https://t.co/no5aQaAUYN— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) March 8, 2022
After all this discourse, it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of reception Westbrook gets when he returns home when the Lakers host the Wizards on Friday. Will the fans at The Crypt rally around Westbrook like Johnson is asking for? Or are things only going to get worse? I’m curious to see what all of you think in the comments.