Lakers News: Frank Vogel Emphasizes Need To ‘Support’ Russell Westbrook Through Hate He’s Received
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook’s journey with the Los Angeles Lakers has turned very sour recently — reaching the point when his wife, Nina, spoke out against the bullying of the 33-year-old guard.

Addressing his partner’s comments, Westbrook said the harassment he and his family experienced has started to weigh on his wife and children. The 2017 NBA MVP added he wants the name-calling to stop, saying twisting his name to shame him also hurts his loved ones.

Head coach Frank Vogel has come to Westbrook’s defense, saying the abuse toward the Lakers guard is a “great concern” and needs to be handled appropriately.

“Support. It’s just support,” Vogel said. “He’s an important player for us. He’s a part of our family. Anytime a player is feeling any type of impact at home with his family, that’s of great concern and should be handled with care. And I hope people can respect what he had to say postgame the other night because it should never come to that.”

Vogel and Westbrook appeared to be at odds over the guard’s production in certain games, leading to the former Oklahoma City Thunder star’s benching in crunch time. But just like Westbrook, the head coach draws a line between constructive, basketball-related criticism and bullying of a player and his family in real life.

“It’s the game of basketball, there’s always going to be criticisms. But with this case, he’s referring to his family name and I hope people can respect that. But from our standpoint, he’s a part of our family and you just offer to support him in every way you can.”

Magic Johnson calls on Lakers fans to support and respect Westbrook and his family

Lakers legend Magic Johnson joined in voicing his support for Westbrook, calling on L.A.’s fans to respect and support the guard and his family.

“It’s our responsibility to come together and support Russell Westbrook and his family,” Johnson tweeted. “Threats and attacks on the Westbrook family are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. There’s no place in sports for this type of behavior, period.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: JJ Redick Has ‘A Ton Of Respect’ For Dwight Howard’s Growth

One of the best stories from the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019-20 NBA season has been the redemption arc of…

Lakers vs. Rockets Preview: Team Looks To Finish Strong

With only five games remaining in the season, the Lakers continue to…

Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Says He Can Learn From LeBron James About Staying Productive Despite Aging

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James put up a performance for the ages on Saturday, scoring 56 points…

Lakers News: Luke Walton Voted 4th Most Impactful New Head Coach In NBA GM Survey

The beginning of the National Basketball Association regular season is only a week away…