The Lakers have been put on blast for leaking damaging information about Russell Westbrook after trading him.
The leak in question resulted in Lakers beat writer Dave McMenamin having this to say on NBA Today:
“As one source told me, ‘You remove a vampire from the locker room.’ That meaning a vampire sucks the blood out of the locker room.”
“As one source told me, ‘you remove a vampire from the locker room’.”
Dave McMenamin spoke on the Lakers moving on from Russell Westbrook. pic.twitter.com/l4uCxvKo91
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 9, 2023
The “vampire” comment immediately rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, including Westbrook’s wife, Nina.
“I have school aged children who have to listen to their peers repeat the nasty things that you guys say on television about their father,” she wrote on Instagram. “I guess I will prepare myself to explain to my 5 year old that his dad is not actually a vampire.”
Some took aim at McMenamin himself, while others were more upset with whoever within the Lakers organisation contacted the media with such disparaging remarks.
The Athletic’s Zach Harper and Mo Dakhil certainly didn’t hold back on either front:
“I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this,” Harper began on The Athletic NBA Show. “But that bullsh*t ass report that came out about Russ — that hit-job — get the f*ck out of here with that. That was terrible. That was so obvious. C’mon man, we gotta be better than that as media.”
“That was really shitty from the Lakers,” Dakhil responded. “Considering how much they talk about ‘We care about our players,’ and all of this bullsh*t that they throw out there. As soon as Russ leaves, they immediately start unloading all the bad stories and things like that. That’s just a complete bullsh*t, bush league job from the organization when they went out of their way to go get him, and everyone was telling them from the beginning it was a f*cked up trade.”
Westbrook’s people have since responded by leaking numerous positive stories about him, including his donation of 400 pairs of shoes to LA students right before leaving town due to being traded by the Lakers.