Russell Westbrook Needs to Follow Stephen Curry’s Wise Advice About Criticism

Los Angeles Lakers star point guard Russell Westbrook finally chose to address the ongoing criticism. However, the chatter has shifted toward him having thin skin and allowing the negativity to impact him more than it should.

Westbrook is an easy target due to his porous play in a Lakers’ uniform that has seemingly shifted the outside perspective of his NBA future and league value. The chatter has also led Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry to air his unwavering support for his longtime colleague.

Russell Westbrook fires back at “Westbrick” criticism

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook reacts to a play against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook looks on during a game against the Clippers. | Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With approximately a month left in the regular season, the Lakers are falling well short of NBA title expectations.

Westbrook’s ongoing struggles have played a considerable part in the team’s shortcomings. He’s failed to comfortably fit into the mix due to his shooting struggles and often questionable decision-making offensively.

Those factors, combined with the Lakers’ being in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs, have ramped up the chatter. They are sitting in the ninth spot 5.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth seed. The constant badgering has pushed Westbrook to a breaking point, where he felt the need to address the “Westbrick” criticism.

“Right now, she’s reached a point and my family has reached a point where it’s really weighing on them,” Westbrook said after Monday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs according to The LA Times. “When it comes to basketball, I don’t mind the criticism of missing and making shots. But the moment it becomes where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.”

Since then, Westbrook has dealt with increased pushback, but the situation has also led to strong support from another star point guard.

Russell Westbrook must follow Stephen Curry’s wise advice about criticism

The constant negative chatter around Westbrook hasn’t gone unnoticed by his peers.

With the Lakers playing the Warriors over this past weekend, Stephen Curry used the opportunity to speak to the nine-time All-Star about navigating through the difficult situation.

“I told him when we played them in L.A. a couple of days ago that I respect how he’s handled the whole year, just in terms of everything he’s been saying and how he’s been handling himself and protecting his family,” Curry told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “It is the nature of the beast. And in a certain perspective, they build you up to break you down. The real ones who have done amazing things in this league know what that means. He’s a professional, and I’m proud of the way he’s conducting himself, and I’m there for him.”

Although Curry hasn’t dealt with the harsh criticism Westbrook is going through, he can certainly relate due to the intense media spotlight always directed on him. His support for the Lakers guard off the court holds plenty of weight as it will help level him as he works through the rest of the season.

Curry’s keen words of advice sit as an opportunity for Westbrook to change his perspective. Instead of allowing the noise to get to him, he should channel it as additional motivation. The Warriors star’s career arc has featured plenty of doubt early on due to his ankle issues. However, that has only fueled him to improve his health and craft.

The circumstances are not the same, but Curry knows a few things about properly dealing with criticism. He’s speaking from a place of experience, which should push Westbrook to handle matters differently moving forward.

Regardless of how things unfold ahead for Westbrook in a Lakers’ uniform, Curry is firmly behind him.

Focus remains on guiding the Lakers to the playoffs

Westbrook has the strong support of his teammates, but the overlying factor remains the Lakers’ performance.

Although Westbrook put together one of his best games of the season with 30 points and turnovers against the Houston Rockets, it’s the embarrassing loss that overshadows everything. Los Angeles is in danger of falling entirely out of the play-in tournament.

They are sitting only 1.5 games ahead of the 10th seeded New Orleans Pelicans and three games up on the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers are amid a concerning skid, dropping 13 out of their previous 17 games along with their last nine consecutive road games.

Los Angeles’ issues go well beyond Westbrook’s performance. However, the team can salvage the campaign in the last 17 regular-season contests. The scenario presents him with the opportunity to play a significant factor in guiding the Lakers toward the playoffs.

Ultimately, that alone could go a long way in quieting the outside noise.

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