Russell Westbrook with Rahshaun Haylock Credit: Bally Sports West

Following a big comeback win at home by the Los Angeles Clippers in which Russell Westbrook closed the game effectively playing center against the Brooklyn Nets, the former NBA MVP was interviewed by Bally Sports West.

Before Westbrook answered the first question about the Clippers’ win, he took a moment to congratulate new sideline reporter Rahshaun Haylock. With the interview booming over the PA system, Westbrook told the Arena crowd to give Haylock a round of applause and embraced Haylock around the shoulders.

It can be a bit awkward when teams pump the broadcast audio over the arena speakers, but Westbrook let the crowd know what a special moment it was for Haylock.

According to Haylock’s LinkedIn account, he graduated college in 2005. The southern Californian has worked as a production assistant with the NFL Network and as a reporter and writer for Fox Sports West as well as KTLA. He is also the play-by-play voice of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Westbrook doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to media interactions. He will often clap back at reporters for odd questions or pointed barbs.

But Westbrook has largely been a beloved teammate across his NBA career. This season in Los Angeles, he has embraced a bench role for a championship-contending Clippers squad.

So while it’s easy to get caught up in Skip Bayless calling Westbrook “Westbrick” or the drama between Westbrook and LeBron James or Kevin Durant over the years, on Sunday night we saw a more tender side of Westbrook that is rarely highlighted.

[Bally Sports West on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.