John Wall Says Russell Westbrook 'Been Kicking My Ass for Years'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 27, 2021

Houston Rockets' John Wall applauds a call, next to Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

Houston Rockets point guard John Wall and Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook both got technicals for some animated trash-talking during Houston's 107-88 win on Tuesday.

After the game, Wall spoke with reporters about the back-and-forth between him and Westbrook.

"Trash talking. That's what two competitive guys do," Wall said. "Russ been kicking my ass for years. He's a hell of a talent. This ain't the first time we've trash talked before."

Westbrook also provided remarks to reporters:

"I don't start talking s--t. ... I just defend myselfβ€”people just say anythingβ€”especially when I know the facts. ... I think they just started talking s--t because they started to win at that time. It's all right. We play them again."

The double techs were assessed with the Rockets up 94-81 in the fourth quarter. Wall and the Rockets got the last laugh Tuesday, with the point guard dropping a team-high 24 points in the win. Westbrook had 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in defeat.

Washington sent Wall, whom the Wizards took with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, to the Rockets along with a lottery-protected 2023 first-round NBA draft choice for Westbrook before the season.

Wall (COVID-19 protocols, sore left knee) and Westbrook (quad) have both missed action this year but are now back and healthy for their teams.

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Neither franchise has fared well thus far, although most teams aren't even a quarter of the way through their season. The 3-10 Wizards are last place in the Eastern Conference. The 7-9 Rockets have won three straight but still sit 11th in the West.

Houston will look to continue its winning streak against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. The Wizards will visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.