In a move few saw coming, the Los Angeles Lakers took a shot in a trade during the 2021 NBA Draft. In turn, the couple of Russell Westbrook-Nina Earl are headed out west after a sting with the Washington Wizards. After all, aside from being college sweethearts, they always have each other’s back–as Russell Westbrook’s wife continues to prove in an enduring relationship.

Russell Westbrook’s Wife: Nina Earl

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reacted to yet another gaudy Westbrook stat line with what amounted to a yawn. Basically, Stephen A. slammed Westbrook for being a stat-padder and not impacting winning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Westbrook who clapped back, but his wife. Nina Earl had a response ready for Stephen A., telling the veteran analyst to leave their family alone.

Nina Earl definitely owned Stephen A. by showing how great of a man Brodie is–far from what the media paint him to be as a basketball player.

With everything that happened, we can’t help but be impressed by Russell Westbrook’s wife and their relationship. That said, we take a look at their origin story and search for stuff that you might not know.

Nina Earl is somewhat of a mystery despite her social media posts. Just who is she and how did she and Westbrook meet?

Well, it turns out that Earl kind of knew what she was talking about when she clapped back at Stephen A. Nina grew up as a Southern California native, and rose to prominence at Diamond Ranch High School as a multisport athlete (basketball and track & field) and an academic star. Basketball ended up in the forefront, with Earl leading her high school team to two California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) title games (2003 & 2007). Eventually, the three-time CIF MVP and All-American was taken by UCLA, where she would meet and bond with Russell Westbrook.

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So if anyone is qualified to talk about sports and the impact of “gotcha!” journalism on young athletes, it’s her. Not only that, but this meeting of college sweethearts through legitimate basketball prowess reads like the sappiest novel-turned-romantic comedy. Someone needs to jump on this movie idea immediately.

She wasn’t done making her mark on the basketball world either: Nina Earl played for all four years of her undergraduate career, starting hot as a freshman as the team’s second-leading scorer before focusing on her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a minor in English. She would later receive a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is now a licensed therapist, specializing in Marriage and Family Life. Currently, she is running her own brand of mental health workshops under the brand name Bene, focusing on the workplace. She’s making waves in her own field to, and has been covered in the New York TimesBET, Goop, Good Housekeeping, and ABC13.

She and her husband are also both very active in their home region of Southern California. Recently, they just opened up about collaborating with the LA Promise Fund to open up the “Why Not?” Academy, magnet school for underserved youth in Los Angeles.

To hear Westbrook tell it, he admires Nina for her matching drive and intelligence:

“She’s a smart girl. She’s in school right now, trying to get her master’s in psychology. She knows what she wants to do in life, which is great. That’s easy for me to cope with.”

Earl and Westbrook got hitched in August of 2015, and by all accounts were a true blushing bride and groom: