Russell Westbrook’s Los Angeles Clippers easily defeated the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.
With playoff seeding on the line, the outing was particularly consequential.
One of the side plots coming into the game was that it marked Westbrook’s first showdown against his old squad. He and the Lakers famously had a disastrous year-and-a-half long marriage that worked terribly for both sides.
Their relationship ultimately ended at this year’s NBA Trade Deadline, where Westbrook was dealt away and then cut. From there, he signed with the Clippers.
Part of the issue with Westbrook and the Lakers was that they badly misused him. They tried making him a shooter and defender first, then they forced him to come off the bench.
The Clippers, meanwhile, seem content just letting Westbrook be Westbrook.
Ahead of this week’s game, current Lakers head coach Darvin Ham praised Westbrook for his willingness to come off the bench for his squad.
Westbrook addressed that fairly bluntly afterwards when the comments were relayed to him.
Darvin Ham praised Russel Westbrook for being willing to accept a bench role with the Lakers. I asked Russ about those comments:
“Uh, It was an experience. I’m past it now, in a new place, and looking forward.”pic.twitter.com/08IBEZwxJH
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 7, 2023
“It was an experience,” Westbrook said of that time in his career. “I’m past it now. In a new place and looking forward.”
You don’t have to read too hard between the lines there. Nor was much left to interpretation when Westbrook repeatedly mocked LeBron James during this week’s game.
Hailey Van Lith’s latest photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/sRgMlmeJHy
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 8, 2023
Clearly things didn’t end on a great note there.
A lot will ultimately be decided in this year’s playoffs.
If Westbrook can help the Clippers win a championship or come close to it, it will ultimately take his already impressive legacy to new heights.
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.