The Los Angeles Lakers brought Russell Westbrook in last season in hopes that he would be the final piece of a championship puzzle.
Not only did L.A. not contend for a title in 2021-22, but the team didn’t even qualify for the playoffs.
Westbrook’s underperformance and bad attitude was a big reason why.
This week an anecdote revealed just how petulant Westbrook was at times last season.
“From stuff I heard last season, like during film sessions, he would you know push back on stuff that was very obvious of like, ‘Hey, you missed this defensive rotation,’” Jovan Buha of the Athletic reported.
“He did not like being the center of attention in those film sessions.”
This of course is totally unsurprising. It is just the latest in a long line of red flags that have accompanied Westbrook. Over the past year he has gotten into arguments with fans, beefs with coaches and has even somehow rubbed his ever-patient teammates the wrong way.
All in all, he has just been an unmitigated disaster on every possible front.
There is a reason why he has been on four teams in four years.
That said, the Lakers’ longstanding nightmare appears to be reaching a conclusion. According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, a trade is looming. Whether it is going to be the Plan A deal or the Plan B deal remains to be seen.
But something will happen.
Vanessa’s response. https://t.co/uzfQOTVQIB
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 21, 2022
The Lakers’ front office has mishandled this entire situation, but even they aren’t dumb enough to misread what is in front of them. Westbrook cannot be on the roster come next season. It doesn’t matter what they have to give up. It doesn’t matter what they get in return.
He needs to go.
How will L.A. ultimately rid itself of this albatross? Time will tell.
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.