Russell Westbrook ducks response to question about duel with Damian Lillard
Russell Westbrook was posed with a question about his series-long duel with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard after the latter capped a 4-1 first-round win with a game-winning 37-footer and a 50-point performance to boot, putting the Oklahoma City Thunder away in five games:
“It doesn’t change much, man, honestly. If you want to determine my career and what I’ve done over two, three games, you go ahead. That don’t mean s*** to me. It doesn’t,” said Westbrook when posed with the question, according to ESPN’s Royce Young. “I’m going to wake up, like I told you before, three beautiful kids, I’m going to wake up and smile, be happy, enjoy my life. Doesn’t change anything about — talk about if I’m playing bad or who’s better, who’s not. I know who I am as a person, and that’s the biggest thing I can say about myself. I know who I am. I know what I’m able to do. I know my capabilities. I know what I’ve done. I know what I can and can’t do. So I’m okay with that. I’m okay with who I am. I’ll just be blessed to wake up every day and enjoy my life.
“The talk about — I don’t even know what talk you’re talking about, but whatever that is, you guys can keep talking about it, and I’m going to keep living my life.”
This is hardly a media construction. Westbrook has measured himself against the best point guards in the league — Lillard among them. When posed with Paul George missing the All-Star cut last season, Westbrook fired at all comers, with many believing that his anger was directed at Lillard, one of the last few to make the cut.
Lillard was eventually named to the All-NBA First Team, and proved why he was deserving of it during this early series.
Westbrook will pin it as a media construction, but his trash talk during the regular season and during the series speaks to the contrary, whether he wants to admit it or not.