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Russell Westbrook says he hopes the play that injured him involving Patrick Beverley wasn’t dirty

May 9, 2013, 10:34 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two Getty Images

Russell Westbrook met with the media in Oklahoma City on Thursday for the first time since suffering the torn lateral meniscus injury that required season-ending surgery.

Most objective observers of the play that caused the injury, where the Rockets’ Patrick Beverley aggressively tried to get a steal as Westbrook was preparing to call for timeout, know that there wasn’t anything dirty about it. The play is a common one in the NBA, made on literally a nightly basis during the regular season by countless players.

But when asked what he thought about how he was injured, Westbrook refused to absolve Beverley of his actions.

From Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press:

Westbrook didn’t know what to think about the play that caused his injury. It’s a play he has made in other games, including in the Houston series.

“That’s really something I can’t answer. I know I just hope it wasn’t a dirty play,” Westbrook said.

Beverley has said he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone and was simply trying to make a play on the ball. Westbrook said he hasn’t heard from Beverley since the injury, but he’s focused on moving forward.

Wrong answer.

The frustration felt by Westbrook in being unable to play with his teammates deep into the playoffs must border on unbearable, considering both his All-Star status and the fact he’d never missed a game in his career up until this point.

But perpetuating the myth that Beverley is somehow to blame for the injury is petty and irresponsible. Westbrook himself has made similar plays in the past, one of which can be seen in the video clip below.

The injury, obviously, is beyond unfortunate. But Westbrook needs to focus on the future, instead of holding onto the idea that it may have been preventable if only Beverley hadn’t made a play that had intentions beyond basketball.

Because clearly, that wasn’t the case.

  1. decimusprime - May 9, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    He hasn’t heard from Beverly, and is focused on moving forward…

    You then say he needs to “focus on the future” Well that’s what he said he’s doing, how is that wrong?

  2. footballgod87 - May 9, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I think since it was russells knew that got hit he has the right to feel however he wants to about it.

    • andrewproughcfe - May 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      It would have helped prove his case if Westbrook hadn’t put himself right back in the game for the next few minutes following the Beverley play. If you think someone made a dirty play and injured you, why are you going right back in the game? Why not just do like every other player and go to the trainer’s room and get it checked out?

  3. bigmeechy74 - May 9, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    that wasn’t really a similar play. Westbrook went for the steal before he lin made it obvious he was calling a timeout. There have to be better examples than that because I know I’ve seen westbrook do the beverley-type play several times

  4. jbeagles23 - May 9, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Every pg in the league tries that. Unlucky for Westbrook

  5. huey88 - May 9, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    This article makes no sense at all…how is westbrook holding onto the idea or perpetuating the idea that the play was dirty..all he said was “i hope it wasn’t dirty” and that he’s focused on moving on….and then you say he needs to focus on moving on when he’s already said that..just trying to knock on Russel

  6. dgbk - May 9, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I agree with others this article is reaching to criticize Westbrook and makes little sense. No one knows Beverly intent but Beverly hence Westbrook sayin he hope it wasn’t dirty.

  7. jnperlman - May 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    I would dispute the premise of this article: “Most objective observers of the play that caused the injury, where the Rockets’ Patrick Beverley aggressively tried to get a steal as Westbrook was preparing to call for timeout, know that there wasn’t anything dirty about it. The play is a common one in the NBA, made on literally a nightly basis during the regular season by countless players.” None of this analyzes NBA rules with any depth. There was OBVIOUS contact on the play Westbrook was injured. Likewise on the replay shown involving Westbrook on Lin; obvious contact there too (although less so). That the refs seem to let that contact slide doesn’t mean it doesn’t skirt the rules or even blatantly cross way over them. That’s evident from the additional fact that Beverley went for Westbrook’s legs…the type of play in football that would easily be flagged. It’s also evident from the play by Beverley that Westbrook was pinned by the sideline in a way that Lin wasn’t in the other replay. I know the analogy to the NFL isn’t necessarily apposite, but along the sideline is obviously a situation where the NFL refs are much more vigilant because of the risk of player injury. Westbrook also didn’t go for Lin’s legs. I’m not saying Beverley did anything intentional, but neither are the analysts right that there was no foul. The analysts need to put themselves in Westbrook’s position (and stay there) before they keep writing articles from the point of view taken above. What, Westbrook just injured himself?!? That’s just ludicrous. Of course he should have obvious frustration about the play and that it might even linger in his memory. But to say that he shouldn’t dwell at the same time as saying there was no foul is just to say on both fronts, “Get over it,” as if his surgery also doesn’t require any recovery at all, despite the obvious contact — which on all fronts is just insensitive.

  8. timb12 - May 10, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    What he meant was Westbrook could have put this whole thing to bed for the most part if he would have said definitively that he didn’t think it was dirty. But by saying he hopes it wasn’t, he leaves the door open and gives people the chance to argue whether it was dirty or not.

  9. supremekingz - May 10, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    What if you’re wrong?

    It’s just as entirely possible that Beverly’s actions were intentional as they were unintentional. Stranger things have happened. The video you posted is a horrible example because Westbrook did not run through anyone’s body and it wasn’t immediately clear they were going to call a timeout.

    With the actual play in question, Beverly ran through Westbrook’s body for a steal (pass interference in the NFL) and it was clear to absolutely everyone that a timeout was being called.

    I’m not saying that it was 100% on purpose, but it’s just as possible that it was especially given the situation.

    Ultimately, only Beverly knows

  10. edmondblues - May 10, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Please step up your own game NBC. This writing is contradictory, and makes little sense. The attempt to issue a derogatory remark against Westbrook is all there, but the writer either hatchets an incomplete piece on his own that leaves the reader blank, he then seemingly changes his short puff of wind with a “move on”. Isn’t that what Westbrook said in the first place?

    Go back to school, kid, or NBC?? Hire an editor!

  11. edmondblues - May 10, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Do you notice the missing link in my paragraph?? See, not so difficult to edit after all!

  12. gatordontplay - May 10, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    timb12 yours ways of thinking makes too much sense for the readers to understand.. on the other hand all I got out of the article is I blame LIN

  13. dexterismyhero - May 10, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Westbrook is a pompous jerk. Maybe if he was wearing his no lense glasses he could have gotten out of Beverly’s way.

  14. spideysdog - May 10, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    slow news day ehhh? Russell says he hopes it wasn’t dirty and he’s moving forward. you say “wrong answer”. Roflmao. first, who are you to say an athlete’s answer is right or wrong. second, he did just what you said he should do. third, he is not in Beverly’s head, so instead of making an arrogant all assuming statement, like yourself, he says he hopes not, and he’s moving on.

    dude, that might be the worst piece on this site, since the last time Helin posted.

  15. blue18hutthutt - May 10, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Durant did the exact same thing to Lin and aggravated his injury causing him to be unable to return to the game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPuAOnATEdY

  16. nawlinsmitty - May 10, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    andrewproughcfe…….very illogical comment. Your line of thinking makes no sense.

    • manchestermiracle - May 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      Using the “reply” button is much more effective when responding to a specific comment. See how I did that?

    • andrewproughcfe - May 11, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Look at the box score for the game – Westbrook, who was injured 5 minutes before halftime, played over 37 minutes in the game. He played the entire game despite suffering a major knee injury before halftime on a potentially dirty play.

      Why not take yourself out of the game and get the knee checked out? Instead of questioning Beverly, I’m questioning Westbrook. There’s no way to know that he didn’t significantly worsen the injury by continuing to play.

  17. nawlinsmitty - May 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Pollackoff……slow news day? Have a need to criticize Westbrook? It was not a dirty play, but it was a punk move. Beverley has done it more than once. I can’t wait for someone to clock his azz.

  18. padraighansen - May 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Pollackoff: Another thought. The big difference between between Beverley’s play and the youtube clip you’ve included above is that with Beverley, the timeout had already been called. With the Lin play, the timeout was called after Lin regained full control of the ball.

    Facts, right? They always get in the way of a good story. But that’s OK – your “journalistic” skills are a perfect match for Fox News. Good luck

  19. padraighansen - May 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    @manchester. Not all browsers / devices feature the reply button.

  20. padraighansen - May 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    @ Manchester – not all devices and browsers support the reply function.

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