Boston TV station trolls Lakers, Russell Westbrook after Dennis Schroder’s strong performance in Celtics win

If you’re ever watching a Celtics game on NBC Sports Boston, be sure to pay extra attention to the lower-third graphics … especially when they’re playing against their bitter rival.

The Celtics picked up a much-needed win on Friday night, beating the Los Angeles Lakers, 130-108, in LeBron James’ return from an eight-game absence due to an abdominal injury. Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 37 points and 11 rebounds, but they also received a huge boost from Dennis Schroder, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists on 8-for-14 shooting.

Schroder’s performance was particularly noteworthy because it came against the Lakers, for whom he suited up last season. Schroder was listed as questionable before the game because of an ankle injury, but said afterward that he “had to be out there for that one” against his former team. After reportedly passing up an $84 million contract extension from the Lakers last season, Schroder signed a one-year, $5.9 million contract with the Celtics as a free agent this offseason.

The Lakers presumably could have retained Schroder for a similar salary, but instead elected to trade for guard Russell Westbrook, who is set to earn $44.2 million this season and $47 million next season. So on Friday when Schroder thoroughly outplayed Westbrook, who finished with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds on 5-for-13 shooting, NBC Sports Boston simply couldn’t help itself. The local station displayed a graphic during Schroder’s postgame interview with the caption, “Y’all paying Russ $44 million lol.”

Schroder, who was also Westbrook’s teammate with the Oklahoma City Thunder, scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, helping the Celtics cut the halftime deficit to a single point after trailing by as many as 14 in the first quarter.

“Dennis has been a great addition to this team on that aspect of the floor,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said after the game. “He’s been able to create for others and allow me to create for others as well. When we’re rolling like that, it gives the extra energy to everybody else to kind of get into their own game and get into a rhythm.”  

This isn’t the first time that a local NBC station has poked fun at the Lakers. Just over a week ago, the NBC Sports Chicago Bulls account tweeted out “Lakers dumb as hell,” along with a highlight from Bulls guard Alex Caruso, whom the Lakers also elected not to re-sign this offseason.

The Lakers are tied with the Celtics for the most championships in NBA history with 17, so criticism and jokes come with the territory when you’ve been on top that often. Surely it won’t be the last time it happens, and we’ll have to keep an eye on the local TV stations when the Lakers meet the Celtics in Los Angeles on Dec. 7 for their second and final matchup of the regular season.


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