Rob Pelinka On If Lakers Being Bad Was Russell Westbrook’s Fault

Rob Pelinka On If Lakers Being Bad Was Russell Westbrook’s Fault

The Los Angeles Lakers sent Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz earlier this month ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline.

A few days later, the Jazz waived Westbrook and he immediately signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. It didn’t take him long to take a little jab at his old team during a session with the media.

It’s clear that Westbrook blames the Lakers for how bad the past season and a half has been for him.

But do the Lakers feel the same way?

In a conversation with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Lakers team president Rob Pelinka offered his thoughts on how much blame Westbrook deserved for his squad’s struggles over the past year and change.

“Our aspirations when we did the Westbrook trade was it would lead to a championship, a contending team,” Pelinka said.

“We didn’t meet that goal. So you have to then look to pivot if something is not working to correct it. I think this trade deadline, there was an opportunity there.

“I think it’s really unfair to put the last year and a half, or whatever period of time that is, on one player. I think the whole roster has to come together and fit. And part of sports sometimes is if things aren’t working, you have to fix them.”

Based on Anthony Davis’ recent comments about Westbrook signing with the Clippers and LeBron James’ farewell message to him, it seems obvious that there was some bad blood there.

But apparently that doesn’t extend to Pelinka.

The next few months promise to be interesting. If the Lakers bounce back strong sans Westbrook and make a legitimate playoff push, clearly Westbrook will be viewed as the problem.

Should Westbrook thrive with the Clippers and Lakers continue to falter, then the latter team will be the one with egg on its face.

One way or another, a lot of questions about the Lakers, Clippers and Westbrook will be answered over the final 23 games of the 2022-23 NBA season.

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Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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