Russell Westbrook is in the midst of a disastrous season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
When LA initially acquired him, the hope was that Westbrook would be a value-add to a lineup that already included LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Worst case scenario, most assumed, he’d end up being a neutral piece – one that could be worked around.
That has not been the case. Not only has Westbrook not helped the Lakers, he has actively hindered the team up to this point.
It was more of the same on Tuesday night, as LA got dismantled by the Milwaukee Bucks 131-116.
James finished with 27 points, while Davis had 22 points and nine rebounds. Westbrook? He recorded 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting, along with four turnovers. Head coach Frank Vogel took him out of the game with 2:34 left in the third quarter and once again refused to play him in the fourth quarter.
The result? LA staged a comeback and showed signs of life that the team hadn’t in the prior three quarters.
So how did Westbrook respond to this? By going off on Vogel after the game.
“You never know when you’re coming in, you never know when you’re coming out,” he complained.
“You never know when you’re playing, you never know… a bunch of things. And I’m speaking for me personally, so it’s a difficult process to be able to figure out and create some rhythm and some consistency where we can actually see what we’re able to do as a team, but those decisions are made by him and his coaching staff, and you’ve got to live with it and move on.”
When a reporter pressed Westbrook regarding whether Vogel had spoken to him about his diminishing role, the former league MVP offered a telling reply.
“No. He hasn’t,” Westbrook said. “But I don’t need him to be clear. He makes whatever decision he makes, and that’s up to him. My job as a professional is to come to work, be in a positive mindset, put my head down and do my work to the best of my ability and be there to encourage my teammates. That’s it.”
Westbrook was also asked about a now-viral moment that occurred between him, James and Davis. He took the opportunity to lob another shot in Vogel’s direction.
Russ trying to cheer up LeBron and AD after a tough loss to the Bucks pic.twitter.com/xhD8MXqfKM
— ESPN (@espn) February 9, 2022
“I told them I wished I could help them,” he said. “But I wasn’t in the game to help them out… But that’s not my call.”
Lost in Westbrook’s assessment, of course, is why he is the victim of disjointed playing time and an increasing number of benchings. He genuinely doesn’t seem to realize that he is the problem here.
The Lakers are down bad right now. The front office has put five different players on the trade block, but it’s unclear if they’ll ultimately be able to make anything happen.
Sean McVay’s girlfriend reveals how she relieves his stress. https://t.co/BcBcoRvRZV
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 9, 2022
Sad as it may be to hear – it doesn’t look like this roster will change dramatically after this week.