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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Russell Westbrook finally answers Berry Tramel question, sort of

Russell Westbrook finally answered a question from columnist Berry Tramel with something other than “next question”, though he didn’t offer much.

Westbrook has been refusing to answer questions from Tramel, a columnnist for The Oklahoman, for the better part of the season. He’ll answer questions from other media members, but he would say “next question” whenever Tramel asked something.

After the Thunder’s 111-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday night, Tramel asked Westbrook a question. Rather than say “next question,” he said “that’s a good question” and then didn’t really answer.

Westbrook appears to have gotten the message that saying “next question” is not acceptable, but he’s still not really cooperating with the media.

Tramel wrote about the matter in The Oklahoman on April 1 and said this of the situation:

“As far as I know, Westbrook never has had a problem with anything I’ve written. Heck, wouldn’t surprise me if he’s never read anything I’ve written.

“I’m assuming he doesn’t like the questions I ask or the way I ask them.”

Westbrook has never said why he refuses to engage with Tramel. It’s a bad look for him and sends a bad message to the rest of the league if that is deemed acceptable. It even spread to teammate Paul George, who said “next question” rather than answer a question about his dunk in Game 3. And if you’re wondering why such an approach with the media is a problem, just read what Steve Kerr had to say about it.


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