Russell Westbrook’s wife Nina slammed ESPN sports commentator Stephen A. Smith on her Instagram Tuesday after he criticized the Washington Wizards star following a historic game.
Westbrook broke the Wizards’ record for triple-doubles (16) with 35 points, a season-high 21 assists and 14 rebounds in Monday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers but Smith was less than impressed.
“Here’s the thing about Westbrook’s big night: I don’t give a damn about any of it,” Smith said on ESPN’S “First Take.” “Because the Wizards aren’t very good. They’re not going anywhere. You’re 17-28 in the Eastern Conference for crying out loud. You’re not going anywhere, and this isn’t the first time Russell Westbrook has played on a team that has fallen short.”
Smith went on to criticize Westbrook’s game, saying it’s clear why the nine-time NBA All-Star hasn’t won a championship.
“If Russell Westbrook was a better 3-point shooter, could you imagine what he would’ve done? I’m here to tell you he would’ve won a championship by now.”
Smith’s comments didn’t sit well with Westbrook’s wife, who went off on him, tagging him in several Instagram story posts.
“I don’t know how many times I have to be minding my own business and randomly be subjected to you slandering my husband (who also happens to be minding his own business, being happy and living his best life),” she wrote.
“Ironically, Russell makes history, and @stephenasmith comes out of nowhere to share his non-congratulations … Respectfully, I’m not a fan [of] yous.”
She also recalled recently watching a UCLA game with Westbrook where they discussed how commentators can significantly impact a player’s future.
“Imagine if Russell let the words of a @stephenasmith said he did not care about his accomplishments. He’d be crushed. He wouldn’t be the talent he is today if he listened to @stephenasmith tell him he wasn’t good enough, or that he could only celebrate his accomplishments if he lived up to what THEY thought he should be.”
Westbrook took to his own Instagram to support his wife’s words.
“What she said … I stand behind it all!!!”
Westbrook also offered a lengthy response after Tuesday night’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
“A championship don’t change my life. I’m happy,” he said. ” I was a champion once I made it to the NBA. I grew up in the streets. I’m a champion.”
Smith responded Wednesday on “First Take.”
He responded to Nina Westbrook’s comments first and then the Wizards’ star. He said he stood by everything he said Tuesday.