Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs on Tuesday night, losing 136-130 to Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 at the Footprint Center.
When asked about his longtime teammate after Game 4, Durant explained that “When [Russell Westbrook is] retired, people are really gonna tell the truth about how they feel about his game.”
Westbrook responded to Durant’s comments after bowing out to the Suns on Tuesday.
“I just think that I am a player that makes mistakes like anybody else. I miss shots like anybody else. I turn the ball over like anybody else. But I also do a lot of things that a lot of people can’t do,” Westbrook explained, according to ClutchPoints’ Tomer Azarly.
“It’s a healthy balance. I don’t know what scale people put me on, but one thing I won’t allow is, I won’t allow other people to put their own expectations on me. What I mean by that is, people around the world, media, sports writers, people, fans, they have an expectation of what they think I’m supposed to be doing.
But I don’t live by that, I live by understanding what my value is, what God has gifted me, a gift to be able to play basketball…when I’m done playing, if people say…they don’t appreciate me, don’t matter to me either way, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to play in this league, and I never take any day for granted.”
“I just think that I am a player that makes mistakes like anybody else. I miss shots like anybody else. I turn the ball over like anybody else. But I also do a lot of things that a lot of people can’t do.”
Russell Westbrook on Kevin Durant’s recent comments.
(via @TomerAzarly) pic.twitter.com/BNpgoAAhC0
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 26, 2023
After an overall strong series for Westbrook, he was not great in Game 5, shooting just 3-of-18 and 1-of-6 from the three-point line as the Clippers bowed out to the Suns in Arizona.
The 34-year-old finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in his last game of 2022-23, but remained positive after another postseason loss.
“All of this wasn’t even supposed to happen to me. I grew up in the hood,” Westbrook continued. “Being able to be here, 15 years later, saying I played in the NBA…as an inspiration for so many people around the world, I’ll continue keeping my head high to inspire people globally.”
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