Before ever stepping on an NBA floor, this Spurs rookie may have already made an enemy with an all-time great.
While at the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, San Antonio rookies Malaki Branham and Jeremy Sochan were playing a harmless game for the cameras. The point of the game was to guess what was written on a piece of paper without looking at it. The person across from the other was supposed to give hints without saying what was actually on the paper—and Sochan didn’t think to filter his thoughts.
On Sochan’s paper, “triple double” was written. So, in order to get him to say it, Branham said, “Russell Westbrook get em a lot.” To which Sochan instantly responded: “bricks.”
The 19-year-old’s face instantly dropped and he looked to the producers off camera and asked if they could cut that part of the footage all the while Branham was repeatedly saying “no, no, no, no.”
After the video clip caught fire, the forward took to Twitter to clear up his perceived diss.
“It’s banter, I was not intending on being disrespectful [laughing emoji] heat of the moment, I was playing a game baby,” he said in the tweet.
Westbrook was widely criticized in his first year with the Lakers this past season and was referred to as “Westbrick” at times because of his shooting struggles. He shot 44% from the field, 30% from behind the arc and just 67% from the free throw line.
Sochan was selected with the No. 9 pick out of Baylor by the Spurs and will likely have to defend the nine-time All-Star throughout the season. The internet found the viral clip hilarious, but Westbrook may not be so understanding. Shooting struggles or not, the NBA’s all-time triple double leader is no picnic to defend with a full head of steam.
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