Stephen A. Smith Reacts to Russell Westbrook, Wife Nina's Response to Criticism

Adam WellsMarch 31, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 20: ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith talks prior to the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After Russell and Nina Westbrook responded to comments made by Stephen A. Smith about the former NBA MVP breaking the Washington Wizards' single-season record for triple-doubles, the ESPN analyst offered a defense of his analysis. 

On Wednesday's episode of First Take, Smith explained that because Westbrook is "so great" on the court that "we wanna see more" from him than just racking up stats. 

Following Westbrook's triple-double with 35 points, 21 assists and 14 rebounds on Monday against the Indiana Pacers, Smith said on Tuesday he didn't "give a damn about any of it" because the Wizards' record after the game was 17-28. 

"You're not going anywhere, and this isn't the first time Russell Westbrook has played on a team that has fallen short," Smith added.

Following the Wizards' 114-104 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, Westbrook told reporters he "was a champion once I made it to the NBA. I grew up in the streets. I'm a champion.โ€

Nina Westbrook used her Instagram to dismiss Smith's criticism of her husband:

Master @MasterTes

I love everything about the Westbrooks pic.twitter.com/fRlOKc6RVq

Westbrook's triple-double against the Pacers was his 16th of the season, breaking a tie with Darren Walker for most in franchise history. 

Per Kevin Brown of NBC Sports Washington, Westbrook's performance was also the first 35-point, 20-assist triple-double in NBA history. 

Westbrook is on pace to average a triple-double for the fourth time in his career. The nine-time All-Star is averaging 21.8 points, 10.6 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game in his first season with the Wizards.