The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook this past offseason with the intention of fielding a championship team. Now, more than halfway through the season, those title aspirations appear to be a pipe dream.
Westbrook has proven to be an extremely awkward fit in LA. While that’s bad in itself, what’s worse is that the Lakers could have landed a much better option in his place this past offseason.
Just a few weeks back Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield broke down how close he came to joining the Lakers. Beyond that, DeMar DeRozan has kept it very real on the dubious set of circumstances that led to him almost becoming a Laker, before he ultimately joined the Chicago Bulls.
Instead, Westbrook ended up in purple and gold. How bad have things been? Reporters recently confronted him with the question of whether he regrets coming to LA. That’s how bad.
So the obvious question here becomes: who is to blame for this Westbrook calamity? As It turns out, the answer may be LeBron James.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, James played an extremely substantial role in bringing Westbrook to LA.
“If the Westbrook move were fundamentally flawed, who is to blame?” he wrote.
“Rob Pelinka is the team’s vice president of basketball operations and general manager. The decision ultimately falls on his resume. But sources also say that James was a significant proponent for getting Westbrook. Does he bear any responsibility if he and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, applied significant pressure on the team to get it done? He should.”
It will be interesting to see where the Lakers go from here. Obviously, tensions are very high at the moment. Westbrook is fresh off calling out his teammates for a lack of effort, and head coach Frank Vogel is perpetually in the hot seat.
Richelle Ryan’s message to Joe Burrow ahead of this weekend’s game. https://t.co/a7SrFgLiml
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 19, 2022
If the Lakers can finagle one of the trades they’ve recently been linked to, maybe somehow they can sort out a way to get their affairs in order and salvage this season.
Should that not occur, though – this could go down as one of the most disappointing campaigns in purple and gold history.