Throughout his 14-year NBA career, Russell Westbrook has developed a reputation as one of the most passionate players in the game.
That passion was surely evident in the final seconds of last night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After blowing a 26-point first-half lead, Russ’ new Lakers squad found themselves down five points with just three seconds remaining. Stealing an inbounds pass from veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, 21-year-old Thunder forward Darius Bazley took the ball the length of the court and dunked it just before time expired.
Clearly upset that Bazley broke one of the “unwritten rules” of basketball, Westbrook took great exception to this play.
The first-year Lakers guard got in Bazley’s face — repeatedly saying “Don’t do that.” As a result, he was charged his second technical foul of the day and was kicked out of the game.
Westbrook also had some words for the official as she told him to get off the court.
The NBA world had quite a bit to say about last night’s blow-up.
Straight hypocritical. He "rocks the baby" and all that stuff, but a kid can't get a steal and slam it home in the final seconds? These unwritten rules are ALL silly. Play ball and try NOT to have 10 turnovers in a game, then there are no late dunks like this one. https://t.co/w6NNTUPdvv
— Brian Mazique (@UniqueMazique) October 28, 2021
Bazley steals the ball and dunks to ice the game
Westbrook gets tossed pic.twitter.com/QMaMoJG0gi
— Andrew Schlecht (@AndrewKSchlecht) October 28, 2021
Westbrook just lost his cool/temper as his frustration boiled over when yet another Laker turnover set up Bazley for an exclamation-point dunk. I had absolutely no problem with that dunk. But Russ did because he and his team just blew a 26-point lead and lost to NBA's worst team.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 28, 2021
Russell Westbrook on his ejection & Bazley's dunk: “Just how I play the game. I’m more old-school & when sh*t like that happens, I don’t just let it slide…In the game of basketball, there's certain things you just don't do." pic.twitter.com/Pzt5WWTfiZ
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 28, 2021
I don’t know guys, Russell Westbrook would never do something like what Bazley di- pic.twitter.com/BjlSmtTQKv
— Bobby Howard (@BobbyHowardOK) October 28, 2021
Russell Westbrook to Darius bazley next time the lakers play okc pic.twitter.com/u5xuzKGnnt
— jw (@iam_johnw2) October 28, 2021
Russell Westbrook calls himself "old school" when it comes to Darius Bazley's steal and dunk. Russ: "When shit like that happens I don't let it slide. … There's certain things you just don't do in sports. Game already over and I didn't like it. Simple as that."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) October 28, 2021
In his postgame interview, Westbrook explained why the final dunk upset him so much.
“Just how I play the game — I’m more old school and when s— like that happens, I don’t let it slide,” he said. “In the game of basketball, there’s just certain things you don’t do.”
Aside from his late-game ejection, Westbrook made headlines for his unusual stat line. Adding another triple-double to his historic total, the all-time leader logged 20 points, 14 assists, 13 rebounds, 10 turnovers and two technical fouls — marking his sixth triple-double with 10 or more turnovers (most ever in three-point era).