Following the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, Russell Westbrook used his post-game press conference to stand by his wife, Nina, for her recent posts about the harassment directed at their family, adding that the “shaming” of his name has gone too far — to the point where he doesn't want his kids at Lakers home games.

On Monday morning, Nina wrote a Twitter thread revealing she and her family had received “death wishes.” She expressed hope that younger generations of NBA players aren't subjected to the same degree of “shaming, name-calling, and public scrutiny for playing the game that they love.”

Russell's media session in San Antonio was his first public opportunity to address the situation.

“I 100% 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 has reached a point, to where it's really weighing on them,” he said. “And it's very unfortunate, just for me personally, because this is just a game. This is just a game. This is not end-all, be-all. And when it comes to basketball, I don't mind the criticism of missing and making shots, but the moment where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.”

Westbrook said he realized the hatred had gone too far when he was at his son's school and was told by a teacher how much pride his son takes in the family name. Here were the rest of his remarks:

“I've kind of let it go in the past because it never really bothered me. But, it really kinda hit me the other day. Honestly, me and my wife were at a teacher-parent conference for my son. And the teacher told me, she's like, ‘Noah, he's so proud of his name. He writes it everywhere. He writes it on everything. He tells everybody, he walks around and says ‘I'm Westbrook, Westbrook!'. And I kinda sat there in shock, and it hit me like, ‘Damn, I can no longer allow people — for example, ‘Westbrick', is now shaming. It's shaming my name, my legacy for my kids. It's a name that means more not just to me, but to my wife, to my mom, my dad, the ones that kind of paved the way for me. And that's just one example. That kinda hit myself and my wife in a place where — it's not great man. I think a lot of times I let it slide, but it's now time to put a stop to that and put it on notice. Like, there's a difference. And we need to make sure that it's understood. And every time I do hear it now I will make sure that I address it and make sure that I nip that in the bud.”

“It's very unfortunate. It's been like this for my entire career. I've been blessed, man, and super thankful for the ones around me and the ones that support me. But, it's really the shaming of my name, the shaming of my character, the shaming of who I am as a person, to me, is not warranted. I haven't done anything to anybody. I haven't hurt anyone. I haven't done anything but play basketball a way that people may not like. This is just a game. This is just a game. This is not my entire life. And I think that is the ultimate thing that's been for me. I don't like to harp on it, kind of just one ear and out the other, but once it starts to affect my family, my wife, even today, my mom said something about it today.

“It affects them even going to games. I don't even want to bring my kids to the game because I don't want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames for no reason because he's playing the game he loves. It's gotten so bad where my family don't even want to go to home games, to any game, because of — not just the media across the globe use their platforms to constantly shame, shame, shame me. It's just super unfortunate, and it's super upsetting to me. I'm at a point to where I'm going to continue to address it. It's just unfortunate.”

Westbrook, of course, is from Los Angeles, but his homecoming season has gone disastrously. Lakers fans — online and in-person — have vocally, and often viciously, turned on him, with many aggrieved fans blaming him (and the trade that brought him to the Los Angeles) for the Lakers' underwhelming season. Westbrook — the team's highest-paid player, earning $44 million in 2021-22 — has been regularly booed at home games, and “Westbrick” is often trending on Twitter during games. He previously said the boos are a “sign of respect” and that he doesn't take them home with him. He frequently points out, in the wake of criticism, that the importance of basketball in his life pales in comparison to his family and how he uses his platform to impact his community.

Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook put up 17 points (5-of-14 FG), 10 rebounds, and six assists in the Spurs loss. He entered Monday averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on .380/.152/.646 shooting splits over the previous 11 contests, of which the Lakers have lost seven.