LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Russell Westbrook hit back at critics on Thursday as the Oklahoma City Thunder licked their wounds after another playoff failure.
Westbrook and the Thunder bowed out of the postseason on Tuesday, beaten in five games by the Portland Trail Blazers to exit in the first round for a third straight season.
Oklahoma City’s latest postseason disappointment left some observers questioning Westbrook’s credentials despite another dazzling season which saw him average a triple-double once more.
The 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player shrugged off the criticism of his role in the Thunder’s playoff campaign.
“If you want to determine my career and what I’ve done over two, three games, you go ahead,” Westbrook told reporters during his end-of-season exit interview.
“That don’t mean shit to me. It doesn’t. I’m going to wake up with three beautiful kids, smile, be happy, enjoy my life. “
“I know who I am as a person, and that’s the biggest thing I can say about myself… I don’t even know what talk you’re talking about, but whatever that is, you guys can keep talking about it. I’m going to keep living my life.”
Westbrook, meanwhile, bristled at questions over his shooting percentage during the playoffs.
“There used to be conversations if I was a ball hog, but now I lead the league in assists that’s getting squashed out,” he said.
“So now the conversation is about shooting. Next year I’m going to become a better shooter. After that it’ll be probably, my left foot is bigger than my right one. Who knows.”