Phil Jackson’s Role In Keeping Russell Westbrook With Lakers

Phil Jackson’s Role In Keeping Russell Westbrook With Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to acquire Russell Westbrook last offseason is almost universally regarded as a huge mistake.

Not only did L.A. fail to make the playoffs altogether, but Westbrook’s averages of 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game were some of his worst stats in a decade.

This week it emerged that retired head coach Phil Jackson has quietly emerged as a major influencer in Lakers owner Jeanie Buss’ inner circle.

It appears as though Jackson is having a pretty substantial role in the team’s decision-making as it pertains to Westbrook.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Jackson is a fan.

“And how’s this for a tidbit to tie this thread up: Jackson is known to have been a fan of Westbrook’s throughout his career,” Amick wrote.

“Sources say Jackson has no interest in taking on this coaching job (or any other) himself — let’s just stop that rumor right here — but his view of Westbrook is relevant. As we’ve established, Jackson’s voice matters again.”

It cannot be fully articulated the degree to which Westbrook ruined the Lakers’ 2021-22 season. Obviously head coach Frank Vogel took the fall, but the actual fault for all of Los Angeles’ woes lays with Westbrook and the people who brought him in.

The fact that Jackson is legitimately campaigning to keep Westbrook is maddening.

As things presently stand, it seems like there is a better chance of Anthony Davis getting traded this summer than Westbrook being sent away.

Absolute insanity.

Hopefully the Lakers figure out a way to right the ship – and fast. But based on all the information coming out right now, it feels like that’s something of an unlikely prospect.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.
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