This season, Russell Westbrook has taken on the sacrifice of coming off the bench for the LA Clippers. He willingly accepted a lesser role in the name of team chemistry and helping everyone around him succeed. The results are clear for all to see.
But accepting a bench role does not mean that the 2017 NBA MVP has lost any part of his competitive focus or edge. Westbrook is still as fiery as they come, and he showed his positive combative attitude in the Clippers' game against the Suns.
During the contest, Westbrook got into a jawing match with Suns center Jusuf Nurkic, which eventually turned into Kevin Durant joining in on trash talking with his former teammate as well. After a whistle, Westbrook shouted at Nurkic to taunt him.
Westbrook, Nurkic and Durant all got into a trash talking match
Nurkic responded by shouting back at Westbrook, "that's why they've got you on the bench." Westbrook gave his own retort back, which prompted Kevin Durant to tell Nurkic that Westbrook can't talk to him that way.
From there, the conversation mostly continued between just Westbrook and Durant, with Kevin telling his former point guard "you're not like that, slim," and Westbrook firing back once again.
Anyone who has played team sports knows that this kind of trash talk is completely healthy and normal. A couple of former teammates who both still believe in their own abilities are not going to hold back their competitive energies against one another.
Clippers fans should be happy to see this kind of fire and intensity from Westbrook. He may be in the latter stages of his career, but he is still the same Russell Westbrook many NBA fans have grown to love over the years.