Can Thunder Just Blow Off Westbrook Outburst?


HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — Is it just the dog days of a long season? Are the Thunder bored? Or are the Oklahoma City boys spending too much time together at the frat house?

We’ve been seeing some odd behavior lately from the reigning Western Conference champs. Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka have sniped at each other on the court, more than once, of late. And in Thursday’s 106-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Russell Westbrook absolutely blew his top.

OK, so maybe Westbrook going all hot-head isn’t all that odd. But, he added a new twist when he stormed off the bench during the game to seek refuge and cool off in an arena tunnel. Getting things started was Westbrook barking at teammate Thabo Sefolosha, then putting up a shot so wild that coach Scott Brooks had to pull his All-Star point guard with just under eight minutes to go in the third quarter.

After a brief sitdown next to assistant coach Maurice Cheeks, Westbrook stood up, flipped a chair out of his way and marched off the floor.

At the time, he was having a tremendous game, too. The Thunder were leading 65-44 and Westbrook had 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting. When he left, Memphis went on a 20-10 run. When Westbrook returned to start the fourth quarter it was if nothing happened. He continued his strong play and helped the Thunder increase their lead.

He finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Afterward, TNT’s Craig Sager caught up with Westbrook in the Thunder locker room for a brief exchange.

Sager: What got you so upset?

Westbrook: Nothing, just a little miscommunication.

Sager: Between you and Thabo?

Westbrook: Nah. Just miscommunication.

Sager: At times do you think you need to control your temper more?

Westbrook: I control it like a man, like I did.

Sager: What’s that mean?

Westbrook: (doesn’t answer)

Sager: Put it behind you and go ahead and win?

Westbrook: If that’s what you say, bro.

Perhaps Oklahoman columnist Barry Tramel puts it best:

And maybe the basketball world will be better off if we accept what Westbrook is. Part hot hand, part hothead. Uncorrallable, not just by NBA opponents, but by Thunder brass.

“There’s no question he was frustrated with himself,” Brooks said. “Russell’s an emotional guy … not trying to downplay that. He has to be able to control his frustration. But that’s part of it.”

Exactly. Westbrook’s wild emotions are part of it. Maybe those wild emotions help make him who he is. Which is a ballplayer so good, he can wipe out the NBA’s best of the West the way Peter Pan took care of Captain Hook.

Only this type of disruptive behavior has been going on for years now, dating back to Game 2 of the 2011 Western Conference finals when Brooks benched Westbrook for the entire fourth quarter at Dallas and played Eric Maynor instead.

At some point, Brooks and his staff have to gain some control over Westbrook and his temper, or it will rear its ugly head during the postseason for a team that now has just one goal: NBA championship.


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  2. Prem says:

    Trade Westbrook now for a true point guard. How about Jrue Holiday for Westbrook? OKC will not win with Westbrook at the point. They need a cool orchestrator. If Westbrook is this hot during a regular season game that OKC was winning imagine him in the playoffs or championship! Also, Westbrook struggles against fast guards like Kyrie Irving. Kyrie scorched Westbrook last time they played.

  3. danyweber says:

    Before acting like a man, which he never did, maybe he should dress like a grown-up man

  4. Max says:

    Bottom line! Will Westbrook admit that he has Angry problems? Westbrook’s temper could cause serious results in the added pressure of playoff finals! OKC does not, as a team deserve this from one Great Player. Many GREAT NBA Players have come and gone, but rules are rules, no exception. A Player GREAT or fair, has to be part of a team. No one Player can beat 5 players. Can OKC depend on Westbrook? S. Brooks keeps making excuses for Westbrook’s outburst of temper? Too serious to make excuses, NOT fair to rest of team. Play Kevin Martin, send Westbrook for Medical help. Excusing his out burst will not help Westbrook. That just makes him more sure of his importance to the team. Next thing he will attack an official and then be ejected for the rest of the season, then what will S.Brook have to say? First, someone, if anyone has enough clout with Westbrook to have a one on one talk,before it is too late to get this Great Player medical Help for his outburst of temper!

  5. Reagan says:


  6. patrick says:

    he might be the most selfish and immature player in the nba. Always a bad attitude that’s hanging on by a thread.

  7. Jumppong says:

    He’s the next in line to have a Torn ACL… LOL

  8. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Russell Westbrook was probably so mad cause this lame 5-second (they should rename it 6-second violation) is so rarely called in the first place. Plus, the refs blew that particular call. Plus, how come Kobe Bryant never gets called for this 5-second violation? Bryant ball-hugs it constantly when posting up a defender from the 3-point line all the way to the painted area. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Interesting. Bryant. How much you paying the refs? Make those calls? 😀

  9. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    What is a 5-second violation? Cause Westbrook didn’t keep possession of the ball for that long. That was a quick 5-second call. Very fast 5 seconds.

    Kind of like that very-fast 3-second violation called on Kevin Garnett in a previous playoff series against the Lakers.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Wow, I just looked up the rules. It states a violation is called if you hold the ball for MORE THAN 5 seconds when backing down or “posting up” a defender when past the free-throw line.

      WOW!! Westbrook may have done that for 5 seconds, at the most. Not a good call by the refs. Oh well.

      If you think about it, they may as well call Kobe Bryant for a 5-second violation every time he backs down his defender from the “wing” area all the way toward the painted area.

      Call it the same both ways.

      If you’re going to call it on Westbrook, I’m going to expect refs to watch how often Kobe Bryant breaks the 5-second rule on many LA Laker possessions. Bryant should be called for this lame 5-second-back-to-the-basket violation AT LEAST three times a game. In a recent game with Lakers against the mighty elite OKC Thunder, Bryant repeatedly broke this rule clearly. The refs never once called Bryant for this 5-second-back-to-the-basket violation. NOT ONCE!! But he broke the rule constantly!!! MORE CHEATING BY THE LA LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. kiko says:

    westbrook out of OKC

  11. lex says:

    been a fan of thunder since its early days,and i gotta say this: this is all just media fanfare.
    there are a lot of times RWB got upset,not just with his team mates. yet in the past its been overlooked because they were not yet that good of a team,even if they had KD. they were not in a big media market,so covering that kind of a story will not get much attention. that was then.
    fast forward this season; they’re reigning western conference champs. they got the best scorer in the league,best duo (IMO) in the league, second to getting the best record of the season. they are now media darlings, so every little thing that they say or do will be big news. meaning even if how small the incident is, it will be blown out of proportion by media. because it will attract viewers, readers, fans and haters alike.
    this incident says nothing about their team, their chemistry. if it does, it only shows that they are still a young team. people forget how young this team is, i say this whole thing is just media fanfare to cover up a slow nba news day.

  12. Tommy D says:

    Westbrook losing his cool doesn’t bother me. But leaving the bench when a coach is talking to you is UNPROFESSIONAL and DISRESPRCTFUL.

  13. Russ is one of the best PGs in da NBA right now…at least he didn’t go Ron Artest on anybody…Or did we all forget about old Rony aka “World Peace” HA!

  14. Phil says:

    Vernon Maxwell Jnr

  15. cp10 says:

    Sir Charles and Shaq fight on youtube: (ahem)

  16. bunbury says:

    Wrestbrook is one of my favorite players but why do an interview to respond mediocrely. what of lack of respect towards the media.

  17. Mirko says:

    It might be just a question of temoer but the way Kd and Thabo acted in the action shows there’s something amiss in Okc.

  18. I can tell tht Westbrook neded some time to chill out in the Locker room

  19. Booya says:

    Unfortunately his not Pip. Pip was smart enough to win him six titles, all in benefit of his TEAM. You’ve got to know how to play you’re part, that’s all. Not sure that Wes knows how to play his.

  20. mike m. says:

    big baby davis needs to give up his name and give it to cousins or westbrook. westbrook looks like a big baby with his shirt kinda looks like a onesie 2 bad the camera didnt pan down to the pants lol

  21. txema says:

    It ain`t nothing to it, if you have ever been in a locker room on a daily basis you know whats cooking. Temper temper, my friend.

  22. Ben says:

    Russell needs to control these outbursts for his own good, but I can’t buy that he needs to do it or OKC won’t win championships. Kobe? Rodman? What about the fight in the finals? Often it’s the teams with guys who go off like this who succeed, because those are the guys who don’t accept anything less than the best from themselves or their teammates.

    That doesn’t make it a good think, because it means Russell sometimes channels that stuff in the wrong direction. But it’s a good problem for OKC to have, not a bad one. And I’m sure that his own teammates will be moving on from it, knowing that thats just Russ, and all will be good tomorrow.

    I like to revisit that OKC Dallas series from time to time. The reason Westbrook was pulled for Maynor is in big part because he wasn’t playing well, he was being completely reckless with the ball. You can’t say that about much of his game yesterday.

    OKC will be just fine, and the Westbrook antics are well overblown.

  23. Karlo Garcia says:

    Westbrooks attitude is only minor compared to Perkins!

  24. Roy says:

    And that’s why they will never win a championship with him at the point. He plays more like a shooting guard, he is too immature. And his decision making is abyssmal sometimes.

  25. Ryan says:

    Its Basketball why cant people show emotion any more? You guys have never watched old games where charles Barkley is screaming face to face with a ref? Or players battleing underneath the rim fighting each other? This is who Westbrook is, He gets caught up in the moment. He is young too he is alloweed to do so. Do you all really have to businessfy him?

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      With all-due respect to SHAQ, I’ve seen Shaq do worse. Once, he threw a “knock-out punch” that almost hit Brad Miller. All because Charles Oakley fouled him very hard and Shaq was sick of it this abuse.

      It would’ve crushed poor Brad Miller like The Big Show’s knockout punch (from WWE).

  26. DW3 says:

    Westbrook got a lot of maturing works to do. He needs to control his temper better. Every game i see him get hyped up and out of control for no reason. And his attitude has changed since last year. If he’s gonna be the best PG in this league, he needs to be more mature

  27. jabba says:

    Control it like a man….? haha What would be better would if he treated it like a gentleman and communicated after the game.. let your game speak…

  28. he gay says:

    This man is gay. He wear feminine clothes and cary purses, the he tries to put on a tough guy act to cover up. Think about it, how many times does westbrook jump in someones face after a foul or a bad play. All part of his tough guy cover-up. Atleast he’s a good ball player tho.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Don’t you listen to Grant Hill?

      Calling someone “gay.”


      NOT in my house, not anywhere. NOT cool. It’s immature. It’s offensive. It’s NOT creative, and you’re better than that.

      (At least I hope you’re better than that. Sheesh.)

      Why did moderation even allow your post to go through? They seem to be way more strict on some of my posts.

  29. isaac says:

    also, the conclusion that you draw from this and one other incident seems to be sensationalizing a small issue. remember kobe and shaq? tell me that lakers locker room was happy families.

  30. isaac says:

    He’s an emotional player. He always has been. What a bulldust article. Slow news day in the southwest I suppose

  31. Reality says:

    funny how everbody has something to say….. We know nothing what if something in his personal life happend that he found out about

  32. K says:

    I think he has a chemical imbalance seriously

  33. jacobm says:

    that’s why Westbrook will never succeed if he tries to go as a solo star, he cant have the leadership effect that calmer players have. Durant will succeed no matter who is around him thanks to his calm leadership, as have some of the most notable players in history such as Tim Duncan.

  34. Macky says:

    This is a non story lol. He’s an emotional player. That doesn’t mean he’s immature.

  35. sunrayzbeamin says:

    shut up and let him be!! i mean he only helps win games and space the floor….do u Russy!!

  36. Give It A Rest says:

    The secret that you are not getting is clear to real Thunder Fans. We know he’s human. They’re all just human and we let them have their emotions without freaking out about it. KD, Serge, Perkins, Westbrook and the boys have all had emotional outbursts. We don’t criticize them for that. We know the secret. It’s what makes champions reach the summit. If you want to talk about boys needing to grow up then maybe you should look in the mirror and realize that calling someone immature for expressing their emotions is so 7th grade.

    Westbrook is doing just fine!

  37. Doe Columbus says:

    He made a mistake cause he is so intense!! No one is perfect ! Kobe, Melo and Wade have all lost their cool before! Give him a break he’s human!

  38. Ronaldo says:

    Agree with a lot of posters here, he needs to grow up and get his feelings in check. Here’s what’s scary though, he’s frustrated while he’s having a great game and burying the opponent into the ground. I’d like to think this is what he/they use as motivational driver, where its them pushing themselves. I’d like to see OKC go the direction of being them as their greatest opponent. They seem to have a great organisation, great coaching staff and obviously great players. This season is THEIR season from their standpoint. They want that title from the Heat and they’ll push themselves to get it. Let it play out.

  39. Ben says:

    Seems to me people’s tolerance for “hot-headedness” gets less and less the more players try to “contain” themselves. Soon a raised eyebrow will be considered “hot-headed”.

  40. He's A Emotional Guy says:

    He’s an emotional guy, the game literally means everything to him i dont think theirs anything more he cares about in the world, Thunder fans have got to love him, Its hilerious seeing barkley say that about westbrook like he’s never had any outbursts if westbrook behaved like he behaved in his day he wouldnt be allowed to play in the nba, this dude straight up wants to win by any means nesscary and he knows stupid things like that turnover can an will cost them the championship…. therefore it annoys him because it means alot to him simple.

  41. W/E says:

    GUys Westbrook went crying to the locker room cause Thabo was reportedly teasing him for his awfull shirts, also Scott Brooks warned him about those shirts in the time out and that was it, Westbrook said to the team that hes gunna continue to wear those shirts and Thabo didnt liked that, he didnt help him in that particular play cause of that decision and Westbrook fliped out.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      It’s a “Revenge of the Nerds” tactic. Although I haven’t watched that new show on TBS.

      On the court and off the court are separate things. Off the court, Westbrook probably studies the game like it’s Physics or Science.

      Basketball is actually Physics in motion.

      Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration. Westbrook and Durant, for instance, are spectacular in these aspects.

      Speed. Velocity (which is change in speed with a direction in motion). Acceleration (which is change in velocity or the second derivative).

      Westbrook excels in being able to have sudden bursts of acceleration and then also the ability to stop on a dime to raise up for those mid-range jumpshots.

      Durant excels with his multipe-crossover tactics, involving incredibly fast increases and decreases in acceleration, enabling Durant to blow by a defender going left or right.

      The Thunder electrify (and awe the crowd) with their “lightning-quick” mastery of applied motional Physics.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        If Tim Hardaway was famous for his “killer crossover” move, then Kevin Durant should now be famous for his “multiple killer crossovers” moves.


  42. Rich says:

    I think Westbrook needs to get rid of his 14 year old teenager looking mustache. Then he can stop having temper tantrums.

  43. Nate says:

    I think the best thing to do in this situation is to panic and listen to everything the media says because the media is never wrong -_-

  44. dj rgm9 says:

    Westbrook is a freak of nature,”adhd” beast attacking the rim but i dislike his clothingstyle so “gay “when he enters the hall before the game!what a fashion freak!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      It’s a “Revenge of the Nerds” tactic. Although I haven’t watched that new show on TBS.

      On the court and off the court are separate things. Off the court, Westbrook probably studies the game like it’s Physics or Science.

      Basketball is actually Physics in motion.

  45. Xepher says:

    The Media needs to stop overhyping this. Its not that great of a deal, just another reason for critics to nitpick Westbrook.

  46. _detropia says:

    westbrook is one of the best point gaurds in the NBA if he gets pissed off at something he’s a man and can handle it the way he can, Just know that this hasnt effected the Thunders winning abilities.

  47. steppx says:

    great talent, but he’s never been a great point guard. He can score, and at times he can dominate defensively. But he’s not a great leader of the offense. Added to that he is emotionally immature….to put it kindly. Stars get coddled and Brooks isnt a jerry sloan or popovich or Thibs kind of coach. He may not be the right guy to impose some discipline on westbrook. Personally i WOULD have traded him and not harden. But…………OKC can only hope he matures soon but Im not confident.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Nah, the Thunder players like each other. They’re just competitive and emotional.

      In retrospect, I’m glad Westbrook went after a teammate instead of the refs (who made a terrible 5-second call). Cause if he went after the refs, he would’ve been T’d up.

      So actually, in that respect, Westbrook was mature. To make sure he wasn’t T’d up … cause every point counts (even if it is a blowout).

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        That 35-year-old crybaby Kobe would’ve cried to the refs AND probably his teammates in a situation like that. He would’ve been T’d up.



  48. fan says:

    Something happened and he got mad, that’s all. Calm down about calling him immature

  49. OctoPPus says:

    Don’t forget Westbrook’s athleticism can bring to the Finals. !!!

    as for him – said not as a lesson , rather than a overview from aside :

    someone says u don’t have to like ur teamates? – i guess only when u like them as friends as well, teamplay get borned – hope he got that !!! – the rest – not anyone’s f…. bussiness ….

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Nah, the Thunder players like each other. They’re just competitive and emotional.

      In retrospect, I’m glad Westbrook went after a teammate instead of the refs (who made a terrible 5-second call). Cause if he went after the refs, he would’ve been T’d up.

      So actually, in that respect, Westbrook was mature. To make sure he wasn’t T’d up … cause every point counts (even if it is a blowout).

  50. St.Don says:

    Russ you an incredible player an all but you was wrong on this one thabo did the right thing.You was careless russ you have no one to blame but yourself you an candidate to be on shaqtin’ a fool

  51. SHANIKA says:


    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I remember watching Kobe Bryant kick or hit a chair when he played at Orlando and Matt Barnes lit him up with 3s.

      That was way worse than what Westbrook did.

      At least Westbrook went to the locker room to cool off. Then came back and played calm in the 4th quarter.

      Bryant just flat out kicked that chair.

      No need for suspensions. Just players getting overly emotional. Maybe a warning or possible technical called … but not nearly enough for a suspension.

  52. Vincent says:

    I would be angry too if I was wearing shirts like that

  53. mthrasher33 says:

    The way Peter Pan can take care of Captain Hook? Nice article, Jeff, but you lost me on that one.

  54. Vincent Silmon Jr says:

    Westbrook is who he is, he’s an emotional player. Good or bad OKC knows this, they understand it and they must be ok with it to resign him. Lets move on.

  55. Russell Eastbrook says:

    When are you gonna drop this Westbrook drama my lovely writers? Is it so hard to accept that players on the same team don’t have to like each other? Do you think all of Kobe’s teammates over the years enjoy him as a person or on the court for that matter? If the Thunder don’t win a championship in the next 3 years you can blame it all on Westbrook menstruating, but until then just let the guy do what he does and stop being paparazzis, you are just bloggers for the NBA. Did you at any point think that the Thunder lost the finals because of Westbrook last year? If so, you didnt watch the games.

  56. GoldenState of Mind says:

    I hav been following Westbrook since his days as a dfnsv stopper at UCLA & it seems the more praise he gets the bigger his ego and Temper Tantrums get. He just needs to grow up and let his talents speak for him instead of his baby like antics

  57. Emmanuel Stalling says:

    He’s a baby. A fantastic ball-player that is spoiled by his coach. When you’re allowed to shoot .416 and average 3.5 turnovers, yet still do whatever you want every night, shut up and play. He should have kicked it out when Thabo’s man came to double, and even so, you’re up 25 pts. He went into the locker room because he was about to cry (literally), and you can tell he did by the red eyes and snot under his nose after he came back.

  58. Irvin88 says:

    Westbrook’s attitude last night just showed the world how he needs to grow up as a person and that he might have some anger problems. A true professional might get upset (obviously, we’re all humans) but hide it and not let it show like he did last night. He needs to get to that level professionally, but yet again, he’s too young. Some veteran leadership might help him.

  59. Tom says:

    flipping out is not how men handle their anger over silly things. finding out your wife has been sleeping with your friend, thats something to flip your lid over. in the NBA world i understand you put your heart and soul into the game but when your in a game in the middle of the regular season up by 20 points and 4 minutes into the second half, that is not an appropriate mature reaction to anything. real men surpress it and address it behind closed doors, children flip chairs, and stomp their feet.

    • CelticsFan says:

      i agree 100%. I mean cmon you are in the NBA your team is killin it against a good team, i mean you are having a pretty good night, yet you do something so childish. Also that interview was a little sad.

  60. karma says:

    westbrook is stupid

  61. Irvin88 says:

    I feel like this temperament just showed us how he needs to grow up as a person and that he might have some anger management issues. This is apparent with the interview he gave Craig Sager.

  62. Alaska says:

    Oh what a trash piece of writing. Are you not allowed to get upset during sports anymore? Everyone in the media just gets so excited when russel does something wrong so you can all crucify him

    • slider821 says:

      that’s the point, they want to hate him and they eat this stuff up. Sager was hoping he’d play into it so they can chastise him even more.

    • BJ says:

      I agree, so the guys can’t get emotional at all during the game in any aspect? what kind of nonense is that? they can’t celebrate when they dunk on someone, they can’t show any frustration or hardly say anything when a bad call is made by the refs, if they talk too much trash to an opponet they can get technical fouls. i mean what is this madness going on today? Trash talking is just what it is, trash talk. its to get your oppoent out of his game psychologically.

      throwing down and dunking on someone is ego flexing at its best and the players should show that, it goes with the game when you succeed when you make a play. Westbook is young and hot headed we know this. and over the years we’ve seen everyone at some point or another blow a fuse about something, whether its a bad call, a flagrant foul or the player frustrated at himself for playing bad during a game. He’s a kid, give him time and he will mature just like every other player does with time and experience in the game and in life.

      Charles Barkley was such a nut during his career they started doing commericals making fun of him because he was so crazy and out spoken and out of control at times with his temper. Shaq would get upset during games and start cursing on live TV when he was interiviwed and they would tell him Shaq were live you can’t say that, and he would say “I don’t give a F*^#!”. Kobe got pissed at one time started going off throwing chairs. Ron Artest is a complete nutjob and we saw what he did when he was with Indiana and they played Detroit.

      they are making something out of nothing. This is something that goes with the terroritory of being young. give it a rest.

  63. TTKIN says: the other day just gave this team a Grade A and now theyre syaing they could be headed for the deep end. Too much media for the media’s own good. Calm down, outbursts happen. Wade hadd one with his coach last yr and they won the title.

    And fyi, flipping chairs on the way out while pouting aint controlling it like a man.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I remember watching Kobe Bryant kick or hit a chair when he played at Orlando and Matt Barnes lit him up with 3s.

      That was way worse than what Westbrook did.

  64. Chris says:

    Not helping your team succeed with that attitude Westbrook. One of the greater PGs of this era but still has a lot of growing to do.

    • Westbrook says:

      What makes y’all think it was his fault for acting like that? He said it’s a miscommunication and perhaps he had every right to be upset. Y’all just listen to whatever the media gotta say and believe right away. Y’all lucky that Westbrook is playing for the Thunder. He could be playing anywhere. Lakers is a much bigger market, they need a PG, and he could have a MUCH better future there in the next 10 years of his life. Many sponsorships and endorsements. But he chooses to play for the Thunder shows his maturity and loyalty!

      • merkin says:

        Considering he’s never been a free-agent and won’t be for awhile, how you figure?

      • Max says:

        Westbrook, does NOT want to be a PG. He wants to shoot (small fwd.) Only Westbrook, can control his temper! Would he consider taking an “Angry Management course?” Hate to see all of Westbrook’s talent go down the drain because of his “out of control temper”! Needs to seek HELP!

  65. Game TIme says:

    He’s young and has some maturing to do. At least he’s not on Cousin’s level.