ESPN.com reported that Stephen A. Smith isn’t a fan of the way Russell Westbrook’s teammates have been taunting him during games this season after his return from injury, specifically with comments directed at Patrick Beverley and Karly-Anthony Towns…

Stephen A. Smith Blasts Karly-Anthony Towns, Patrick Beverley for Taunting Russell Westbrook

If you thought Russell Westbrook’s remarks about his “Westbrick” moniker would put a stop to some of the trash language directed at him, you were dead wrong. Players on the Minnesota Timberwolves, particularly guard Patrick Beverley and star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, may have trashed Westbrook more than any other player throughout his illustrious career.

During a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers this week, they thoroughly clowned him.

While some fans encourage players to hurl verbal barbs at one another, Stephen A. Smith wasn’t impressed with the way Beverley and Towns handled Westbrook. The ESPN analyst chastised them for it, even describing their behavior as “classless.”

In their victory against the Lakers, the Timberwolves embarrassed Russell Westbrook.

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This NBA season, Russell Westbrook has become the punchline to every joke. With the Lakers, he has had one of his worst seasons, averaging 17.9 points on 43.2 percent shooting.

With him as point guard, LA has also been a disaster. The squad is currently in ninth position in the Western Conference with a record of 29-40.

As a result, opponents and fans have spent a lot of time clowning Westbrook this year because he seems to love talking trash while playing with a chip on his shoulder. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, pushed it to a new level.

When Russell Westbrook air-balled a three-pointer in the fourth quarter of a 124-104 Minnesota victory on March 16, Karl-Anthony Towns glanced up, puzzled. According to ESPN, Patrick Beverley, who has a history with Westbrook, squeezed his nose early in the game and looked to utter “crap.”

After the game, Westbrook addressed their actions.

According to ESPN, he remarked, “I honestly don’t pay no regard to that.” “Perhaps the other men do.” They weren’t talking to me, however. They were talking to specific men, but the trash talking didn’t affect me in the least.”

“Nobody over there has done anything in this league that has had me pull my eyes up and go, ‘Oh, they’re talking mess,’” he said. Allow me to react.’ No. It’s all right. They’re excellent. They were victorious in the game. I’m glad for them. “Now it’s time to move on to the next one.”

Stephen A. Smith, on the other hand, seemed to be concerned by the Timberwolves’ treatment of Russ.

Patrick Beverley and Karl-Anthony Towns both irritated Stephen A. Smith.

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On the March 17 broadcast of ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith expressed his admiration for both Patrick Beverley and Karl-Anthony Towns. But he wasn’t pleased with their treatment of Russell Westbrook.

“He’s having an absolutely, totally horrible season; it’s his worst season ever.” But to insult him like that, I said to myself, ‘Damn, y’all are sort of classless.’ “Y’all can do better than that, particularly when you’re Minnesota and haven’t done anything in the previous two decades,” he remarked. “… It was a bit too much. I’d say it’s a touch unclassy.”

Maybe their trash talking was a bit too much for them. However, rather than criticizing the activities, they should be appreciated.

We should encourage NBA players to trash talk one other.

Stephen A. Smith, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverley.

Stephen A. Smith, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverley. Stephen A. Smith, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverley are shown from left to right. Getty Images/Stacy Revere; Getty Images/Andy Lyons; Getty Images/Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Getty Images/C. Morgan Engel

I’d want to preface this by saying that I’ve always been a fan of Russell Westbrook. I’m sorry he’s the target of this smear campaign, but no one should be immune.

Trolling is something that should be encouraged.

NBA rule changes have resulted in refs calling more fouls, which has led to some people saying that this generation “soft.” In fact, Stephen A. Smith himself once said some players today are “soft as putty.”

Talking trash, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of being “soft.” It leads to greater tension on the court, as well as a possibly more physical style of basketball.

Smith can’t have his cake and eat it too. He can’t expect players to toughen themselves while simultaneously criticizing them for their lack of class.

If he and others want the NBA to be less soft, they must embrace trash language. We should all do so. It’s more exciting, and it demonstrates how serious the guys are about winning.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

After being booed by the Timberwolves, Jay Williams blasts Russell Westbrook’s comments.

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