Real Reason Lakers Haven’t Permanently Benched Russell Westbrook

Real Reason Lakers Haven’t Permanently Benched Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook has been an unmitigated disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers this year.

Between his poor shooting, worse attitude and chronic turnovers — it has just been one issue after another with him.

Because of how bad Westbrook has been, a popular question has arisen in recent weeks: why won’t the team just relegate him to the bench?

An answer emerged on Saturday.

In a new report, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN shined a bit of light on the real reason LA has refused to demote Westbrook to the bench permanently.

That reason? Team head coach, Frank Vogel.

“There has been an increasing push among many in the Los Angeles Lakers organization to demote nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook from the starting lineup, but so far coach Frank Vogel has resisted bringing him off the bench,” he wrote.

It’s easy to see why Vogel would be wary of the move. It’s unclear how much it would actually pay off, and Westbrook’s attitude on the topic leaves a lot to be desired.

That said, this may be a short-term dilemma – on all fronts. Vogel appears to be a goner after next season. Same with Westbrook.

“Jousting with reporters in press conferences is apparently not the lone source of pushback these days from under-fire guard Russell Westbrook,” NBA insider Marc Stein reported this week.

“There has been no shortage of defiance behind the scenes, I’m told, when coaches and teammates have tried to broach changes in role or approach with the former MVP.”

There’s a reason why Magic Johnson went off on Westbrook over the weekend, and why his wife is going back-and-forth with Skip Bayless on Twitter.

Westbrook is in a bad place right now.

Will the Lakers somehow be able to get rid of him come of the offseason? Time will tell.

Related: WNBA’s Brittney Griner Facing 10 Years In Russian Prison?

Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.

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