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The Oklahoma City Thunder guard has refused to answer questions from Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman and only responded with “next question” during his postgame interview Friday:
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“You want me to tell him…?” PG to Russ as Westbrook continues feud with Oklahoman columnist https://t.co/aEfyz6VALD
“I think it’s dangerous for the league,” Kerr said of the approach.
Although Westbrook didn’t violate any league rules during the exchange, Kerr is concerned about the impact it will have on fans:
“I just feel that we have to be very careful as a league. We’re in a good place right now. Very popular. Fans love the game, the social dynamic, the fashion. But more than anything they love the connection they feel to the players. I think it’s important for the players to understand that it’s a key dynamic to this league. I don’t think this is a healthy dynamic, for this league, for any player, any team, any local media, any national media.”
Westbrook’s problems with Tramel date back to 2015, and the All-Star has refused to answer questions from the reporter. Tramel explained earlier this month that this won’t stop him from doing his job at press conferences.
“I keep asking, with no hope of getting an answer, because the media shouldn’t give in to Westbrook’s desire to control everything,” Tramel said.
Although Kerr agrees that Westbrook should be more open, his reasoning is based on pleasing the audience.
“You’ve got to feed information to the fans,” the coach said.
The NBA is a star-driven league, but a disconnect between those players and the fans could hurt its popularity.