Russell Westbrook confronts Hornets fan over ‘disrespect’

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Russell Westbrook does not like it when his name is disrespected.

The Clippers point guard has made himself perfectly clear on the matter.

Perhaps opposing fans just haven’t been paying attention.

Or, much more likely, they have and are using that information in an attempt to get inside the former league MVP’s head.

During halftime of the Clippers’ game in Charlotte on Sunday, Westbrook confronted a man sitting near courtside wearing a Hornets jersey and a light-blue balloon hat. ESPN Charlotte reporter Jeremy Grandison tweeted a video of Westbrook giving the man a tongue-lashing (warning: the video contains profanity).

“I got kids, don’t disrespect my name,” Westbrook can be heard telling the fan, who Grandison reported had been “chirping” at the player during the first half.

Westbrook contributed 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes off the bench during the Clippers’ 130-118 win over the Hornets.

It was at least the fourth time this season Westbrook has taken part in some sort of verbal sparring with members of the crowd.

After one of those incidents — which occurred during a November game against the Denver Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena — Westbrook indicated that perceived disrespect of his family name often plays a role in his being involved in such altercations.

“If I’m responding, there’s a reason I’m responding,” Westbrook told reporters after that game.

”… Understanding what Westbrook means. Understanding how important that is to my dad, my grandfather, my family. It’s very important. It’s something I stand on, and respect is a big thing that I value. So the moment that line gets crossed, I won’t allow it no more. I stood for it for years. Now that my son is old enough to know what’s going on and asking me, ‘Hey, Dad, what does that mean?’ Now I gotta stand on it.”

The former UCLA standout has been fighting this battle for years. While playing for the Lakers in 2022, Westbrook cited his then-4-year-old son in explaining why he would no longer put up with being called the derogatory nickname “Westbrick.”

“The teacher told me, ‘Noah, he’s so proud of his last name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody and walks around and says, ‘I’m Westbrook,’” the nine-time NBA All-Star said. “… And I kind of sat there in shock and it hit me like, ‘Damn. I can no longer allow people.’ ‘Westbrick’ for example, to me, is now shaming. It’s shaming my name, my legacy for my kids.”



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