It’s easy to hate Russell Westbrook, especially if you’re not the Houston Rockets fan. Since he joined the league in 2008, Russ has waged wars against media and against the rivals’ fans. He’s known as a ball hog and guy who only cares for his stats, even if that’s not always the truth.
After a painful first-round loss to the Trail Blazers in 2019, Westbrook joined James Harden and the Rockets last summer, but that move only increased the basketball fans’ hate.
But, who does the hated Russ hate?
Russ continues to brawl with media while establishing some new rivalries around the Association. Also, he determined some old animosities, so let’s take a look at five NBA players who Russell Westbrook hates the most.
5. Joel Embiid
The Process isn’t a stranger to shit-talking rivals or hard fouls …
In Joel’s defense, he couldn’t anticipate that sloppy ball handling at the end. However, Embiid and Westbrook have a long history of fights, so it’s not strange Russ had some F-bombs for his opponent following that tough hit.
After the game, Embiid stated he doesn’t know why Russell was mad, pointing out how Westbrook is too sensitive.
4. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley is one of the best defenders in the league, but Mr. 94 Feet is also one of the dirtiest players, using multiple tactics that are borderline illegal. For example, Bev tackle Russ here …
He could’ve avoided it … but didn’t.
Russ could always expect to have Beverley guarding him, and those two had some tremendous battles on the basketball court over the years. Back in 2017, the Rockets beat the Thunder in the first round in five games. Russ won the MVP Award that year but failed to beat Patrick Beverley and Houston.
At the moment, Russ is a Rocket, while Beverley plays with the Clippers. The Rockets beat the Clippers 102-93 this past November mostly thanks to James Harden’s 47-point display.
“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense,” Westbrook said after the game. “He doesn’t guard nobody, man. It’s just running around, doing nothing. … All that commotion to get 47.”
3. Jusuf Nurkic
If you ask Russ, there are a bunch of clowns around the league, but he won’t name them all. However, the Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic earned that privilege.
Westbrook got angry during the game because of Nurkic’s hard screens and refused to talk about that clown after the clash. Jusuf reacted with a tweet – Why not, Westbrick?
Only a few months later, Portland and Oklahoma City met in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. Nurkic watched the series from the sideline due to a leg injury, wearing a ridiculous t-shirt with a caption — Got bricks? Next question.
2. Nikola Jokic
There’s something between Russ and European big men, especially those from Balkan. Back in 2018, Westbrook and Jamal Murray started a fight when Nikola Jokic went in, and Russ and Joker had a few more brawls over the last few years.
Remember that flagrant foul on Westbrook? Also, there’s a funny interpretation of Jokic stumbling by Westbrook, so it’s clear Russ doesn’t like The Joker at all.
1. Damian Lillard
We love the fierce rivalry between Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard. During the game between the Thunder and Trail Blazers back in January 2019, Westbrook yelled, “I’ve been busting that ass for years,” at the moment when Lillard was at the free-throw line.
These two guys can’t stand each other, although Lillard stated he and Russell never hated each other. During Game 2 of the 2019 Western Conference First Round, we saw how bad things are between them.
Lillard had the last laugh in that series, beating Westbrook and OKC in five games. They met again this past regular season, and Russ had some comments over the Trail Blazers’ poor form. Allegedly, Westbrook mocked Dame by asking him “What playoff seed are you all? And Dame responded, “You know I’m the last person you want to see in the playoffs.”