Opinion: Russell Westbrook's 'next question' latest example of gap between NBA stars, fans

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the biggest story lines from Sunday’s games, including the Celtics’ dominant performance in the first round.
USA TODAY

There is something oddly appropriate about knowing, as an NBA playoff game is about to end, that the postgame press conference is going to be must-see television to a degree the game wasn’t.

Make no mistake, what Russell Westbrook has been doing in a very public way during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s series against Portland is a really bad look for the NBA. Even in an environment of general antipathy toward the media, Westbrook’s childish treatment of The Oklahoman newspaper columnist Berry Tramel has become a Twitter meme, a story line big enough to discuss on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and a curiosity that, in some ways, has really overshadowed the series. 

(Westbrook, who has been avoiding Tramel’s questions since January, softened his response Sunday night from “Next question” to “Good question, not sure” and “I really don’t know.” Either way, it’s lame and will mercifully end soon if the Trail Blazers can finish off the series Tuesday.)

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