The Lakers are having a miserable season despite being loaded with future Hall of Famers, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, the latter of whom is playing the worst basketball of his career.
And while he's one of the most entertaining and dominant guards in NBA history, Westbrook was mocked by Karl-Anthony Towns and other Timberwolves players after Westbrook air-balled a wide open 3-pointer late in Minnesota's dominant 124-104 win over the Lakers Wednesday night.
The TV broadcast replay showed Towns mocking Westbrook's shot, looking up and around as if to wonder where in the sky that orange basketball came from. Patrick Beverley, who has significant history with Westbrook, grabbed the airball and tossed the ball over his head to mimic ducking from the errant shot.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith called Minnesota's actions – specifically mentioning Towns – "classless," while noting that Towns has been in the league for seven seasons and made the playoffs just once.
"Karl-Anthony Towns is better than what he was last night. You taunted Russell Westbrook like that. I will remind you that this is your seventh year in the league, Karl-Anthony Towns. You've went to the playoffs once," said Smith, acknowledging that Westbrook is having a terrible season.
"But to mock him like that, I was like damn, that's kind of classless y'all. Especially when you Minnesota and you ain't been doing anything for the better part of the last two decades. You're having a good season now, congrats to you. But damn, it was a little excessive, a little bit un-classy I might say."
Beverley also allegedly looked at Westbrook on the Lakers bench earlier in the grab, plugged his nose and called him "trash."
“Their trash talking doesn't bother me. Nobody over there has done anything in this league," Westbrook said after the game, to which Beverley defended himself on Twitter by saying he's never missed the playoffs and has reached the conference finals twice.
Beverley has since tweeted that the Wolves are having fun and others should be happy for them, though he incorrectly referred to Minnesota as a "city."
Meanwhile, this isn't the first time this week that the Wolves have mocked an opponent's airball. In Minnesota's road win over the Miami Heat, Anthony Edwards yelled "airball" after Kyle Lowry missed a long shot late in the game.