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Westbrook claps back: NBA championship won't 'change my life'

After putting up another triple-double performance in the Washington Wizards’ 114-104 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, March 30 (Wednesday, March 31, Manila time), Russell Westbrook clapped back at renowned ESPN analyst Stephen Smith for his recent comments on the former NBA MVP's game.

During an episode of Stephen A’s World, Smith criticized Westbrook’s historic triple-double a day earlier, where the star point guard dropped 35 points, 21 assists, and 14 rebounds in a win over the Indiana Pacers.

“I don’t give a damn about any of it because the Wizards aren’t very good, they’re not going anywhere,” Smith said of Westbrook’s huge numbers.

Smith then followed these comments up on ESPN’s First Take, saying Westbrook’s numbers mean “absolutely nothing” to him.

He also pointed out how Westbrook failed to win a championship despite having superstar teammates like Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Paul George in the past.

“I mean damn, you’ve played with great players all over the years… and not a single title to show for it,” he continued.

However, for Westbrook, winning an NBA championship would not change his life, and he already considers himself a champion after entering the league back in 2008.

“A championship [doesn’t] change my life. I’m happy,” said the nine-time All-Star Westbrook.

“I was a champion once I made it to the NBA. I grew up in the streets, I’m a champion,” he added.

The 32-year-old Westbrook believes his legacy should not be based on what he does on the court, but rather on what he does off the court, where he uses his platform to inspire and help people all across the world. 

“I don’t have to be an NBA champion. I know many people that got NBA championships that are miserable, have done nothing for their community, have done nothing for the people in our world.”

“My legacy, like I mentioned before, is not based on what I do on this court... my legacy is what I do off the floor, how many people I’m able to impact and inspire along my journey,” he added. 

Westbrook’s wife Nina, meanwhile, showed support for her husband on Instagram, saying Russell is way more than a championship, and that he is a champion of life and his people. 

– Rappler.com