The Los Angeles Lakers have been the NBA’s most disappointing team this year, and a big reason why has been the underwhelming play of Russell Westbrook.
LA gave up a lot to acquire Westbrook this past offseason. The front office could have had sharpshooter Buddy Hield or current MVP frontrunner DeMar DeRozan, but instead opted for a deal with the Washington Wizards.
Worse yet, the Lakers look like they may miss the playoffs altogether this year. Currently the team is ninth in the Western Conference, but much closer in the standings to the 12th place San Antonio Spurs than they are to the 8th place LA Clippers.
Which makes a recent social media reaction by Russell Westbrook’s wife, Nina, all the more stunning. The post largely speaks for itself:
Say what? Nina thinks that Russ would be able to guide Orlando into the postseason, but somehow he’s incapable of doing so with arguably the greatest player of all time by his side in LeBron James?
James has won with pretty much every big name he has ever played with: Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh. The list is endless.
The one superstar who he has failed with? Russell Westbrook.
None of this should come as a huge surprise. Nina has been engaging in a lot of weird online wars over the past few weeks. She has consistently come out looking not-great each time.
This is just par for the course.
The Westbrooks seem very offended by the way everyone is talking about them. It’s understandable; the dialogue hasn’t been great. But there’s a reason for it – and it’s something they’re responsible for.
It goes beyond just Russell Westbrook’s poor play. It’s his bad attitude, too. There’s a reason why Lakers coaches hate him and Magic Johnson is tired of him. He could come off the bench, be a valuable sixth man and do his part a la present-day Carmelo Anthony.
ESPN found a new way to get college basketball ratings up. https://t.co/D7gkc7AOAJ
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 9, 2022
Instead, he’s choosing to be pre-Portland Trail Blazers Carmelo Anthony. The reaction he is getting from the public is far more the byproduct of that than what’s happening on the basketball court.
If Russ and Nina really want the public off their backs, changing their attitudes would go a long way in making that dream a reality.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.