Nine-time NBA All-Star guard Russell Westbrook hasn’t always had the best relationship with reporters.
He has had plenty of heated exchanges with the media while in press conferences during his time in the league. It often seems that he would rather be doing literally anything else than talk to sportswriters.
Westbrook, who has also had fun teasing journalists in the past, is very used to receiving criticism when he takes the dais for a presser. So when he was met with the opposite energy after the Lakers lost to the Clippers on Tuesday night, you can tell just how surprised and caught off-guard he felt.
Russell Westbrook loved the line of questioning here. pic.twitter.com/35LF3x8ulH
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) January 25, 2023
The reporter, Jillian Sallas, congratulated Westbrook on a new scoring accomplishment. She then mentioned his impressive ball handling and his wild body control on a jumper.
He was eventually asked if these moves are premeditated or improvised.
Here is what Westbrook had to say as he struggled to find the right words, clearly distracted and overwhelmed by the surprisingly genuine sentiment:
“The way you explain it, you need to be around more often. I just go out and try to do the best way I can. Try to find ways to make some shots and make the right play.”
The level of respect she showed is increasingly rare to find in the NBA. The interaction was wholesome and refreshing and you can tell he was happy to hear such a kind approach.
He was less happy when asked about teammate Dennis Schröder.