This is terrifying. We’ll always remember the flared nostrils of Allen Iverson any time he disagreed with a ref’s call — they will too, for having survived the experience — and Russell Westbrook is AI’s contemporary incarnation. Russ sometimes plays angry and he can certainly get angry with reporters, but he’s also quick to laugh at himself. Yesterday, angry Russ stared daggers at teammate Jeremy Lamb because Lamb didn’t slap him five when Russ was coming off the court.
The awkward exchange, by way of ESPN’s estimable Royce Young (H/T Vice), came with a little over half of the fourth quarter in the books and the Thunder resting comfortably with an 18-point lead. The craziest (i.e. scariest) part of the whole sequence came after Lamb gave him some DAP and Russ kept eyeballing him as he continued to the bench. The look was like the thousand yard stare you see on the countenance of cold-blooded killers.
It wasn’t like Russ was having a bad game, either. He notched a triple-double in the 104-97 win over the Magic without an injured Kevin Durant. Russ, who finished with 25 points (8/15), 14 assists and 11 rebounds in over 38 minutes of action, was particularly deadly in the first half:
He was an all-around force, so perhaps he expected to feel some love from teammates?
But that icy reaction to Lamb for a totally innocuous mistake has to be in the back of Jeremy’s mind moving forward. Even we’re a little freaked out by how upset Russ seemed to get while his team was holding a comfortable lead.
It’s either that, or the two are laughing about all the hubbub about it online today.
If Lamb meets an untimely demise in odd circumstances, is Russ the No. 1 suspect?
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.