Russell Westbrook's relationship with the media can best be described as icy. For a player with a big personality, Westbrook shuts it all down and goes into "media mode" when talking to reporters.
It has produced some postgame one-liner gems from him. There's "No more questions for you, bro," and most recently, "If that's what you say, bruh," following his sideline eruption.
This latest episode came after the Thunder's 109-94 loss to Utah on Tuesday, a game in which Westbrook played pretty well, but did have seven turnovers.
The question was harmless, it seemed. Westbrook was asked, "Did you guys lose this game, or did the Jazz win this one?" Not exactly a brainbuster, but nothing combative or ridiculous. Westbrook didn't take kindly to it. Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman was there and describes it:
Westbrook simply walked off. The temperamental team captain got fed up with a reporter's question and suddenly turned his back and ended the interview before walking away. The exchange was as follows. “Russell, did you guys lose this game, or did the Jazz win this one?” Westbrook: “Whaaaaat? Bro, what are you talking about, man? I'm out man. Y'all n***** trippin'.”
Now, in Westbrook's defense, the "did you lose or did they win" question is pretty much the stupidest thing ever. I get the point of it, but it's still dumb.
It's just that this is a recurring theme with Westbrook. If this were an isolated event, it would be hilarious and we'd all move on. It wouldn't be news at all. But it's a consistent running thing where he's as cold as can be with the media over the most little things.
Westbrook is an emotional, tempermental player. Everyone gets that. But he's also extremely immature. This type of thing happens with some regularity. It's not that Westbrook has to be all that cordial with the media, but dealing with them is part of his job. And he does it with open contempt and outright disrespect.
He's a brilliant player on the floor, a wonderful teammate and a truly funny, interesting and stand-up guy. Unless you're part of the media. Then, to him, you're just a bug on his windshield.