Russell Westbrook says his in-game crip walk dance was about channeling energy


Lakers goalie Russell Westbrook controls the ball in a win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Westbrook took a few dance steps against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

As Russell Westbrook dribbles the basketball toward the half court line at Staples Center on Friday night, the Lakers guard started to wiggle his feet, doing the “walking crip” as he danced his way to the yard against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tha Eastsidaz’s song “G’d up” was playing and the music had caught his attention, forcing Westbrook to dance even during the match.

It was his way of bringing some loot back to the Lakers, leading them past the 26-point collapse in Oklahoma City last Tuesday and leaving teammates inside his tackle.

As an LA kid from Leuzinger High in Lawndale who attended UCLA and now plays for his hometown Lakers, the song was cathartic for Westbrook and allowed him to express himself.

“All I heard was the music and I was like, ‘Oh, this is my joint here.’ That’s my… ‘And then my feet start to move. That’s how it works with me, “Westbrook said after practice Monday.” So I like to dance and that’s something that I like to do. So it kind of happened in the middle of the game but, you know, enjoying. But that also goes to what I mentioned after that game about our loot and my energy. This is who I am and for us to be what we need to be, I need to be who I am and be free and do things where it feels right to me.

Westbrook thinks he may have done it before when he played for Oklahoma City. Yet the reaction of some people was, “What was he doing? “

“And I’m okay with that,” Westbrook said. “But it brings good energy to my team and my teammates, and it puts us in a happy place. I always remember, throughout a season and throughout a game, you always want to make sure you have fun – win, lose or draw. Because if you’re not, it kind of gets – for me personally – I’m so tense. If I’m just super focused and not having fun, I lose my sense of what I’m supposed to be doing. So it’s also a combination of all of that, just having fun, smiling and enjoying the game. ”

After that match, LeBron James joked in an Instagram post about Westbrook, “Something’s really wrong with him,” adding smiley emojis.

His dance moves gave Westbrook’s teammates a little spike inside the man.

“They just said, ‘It’s just me who am me.’ You know, I like to joke around and enjoy the game and have fun doing it, ”he said. “But also at the same time I’m going to compete to the best of my ability and that’s all I am. And I think some of them didn’t notice it right away and after the game everyone was like, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were doing this all through the game. ” I was like, ‘Yeah, we needed it today.’ “

Injury update

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said goaltender Wayne Ellington will train with the South Bay Lakers on Monday to get “live work”. Ellington has been out all season with hamstring strain.

Vogel said that Talen Horton-Tucker had the “stitches [taken] With his surgically repaired left thumb. Horton-Tucker was seen training in training without a brace in hand. Vogel said Horton-Tucker was still “on track with the schedule” for his recovery, with the keeper due to be reassessed in four weeks after his Oct. 13 procedure.

Kendrick Nunn is absent with a bone contusion on his right knee.

Upcoming: vs. Houston

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

On air: TV – Specter SportsNet; Radio – 710, 1330.

Update: The Lakers continue their four-game homestand with another game against the Rockets, resuming it after beating them Sunday with LA’s best defensive effort of the season. Anthony Davis, who anchors the defense of the Lakers, is ranked third in the NBA in blocked shots (2.3). Rockets center Christian Wood leads the team in scoring (19.2) and rebounds (11.5).

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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