Since the Lakers missed the playoffs and the play-in-tournament this past season. This offseason talk has been about Russell Westbrook and his struggles this past season. Coming into the season, the Lakers were the favorites to win the 2021-2022 NBA champions. One of the reasons why the Lakers were favored to win the title was because of the big 3 with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a top all-time 75 player and a future Hall of Famer.
Photo Cred: LA Times
Westbrook’s style was a big question mark playing alongside LeBron James. Westbrook has always been a player who needs the ball and his inability to make shots from the perimeter. However, people still felt like the Lakers could still overcome Westbrook and be one of the best to contend for a championship. Los Angeles Lakers were a disaster from the start of the season for many reasons. The Lakers lacked shooting, perimeter defense, health, and poor production from key players. Westbrook was a factor in everything on why the Lakers underachieved this season. Westbrook shot the ball poorly from the perimeter, was a poor defender at most times, and never held himself accountable for his poor play.
Throughout the season, it got so bad Westbrook had told the media that he never had any expectations playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The expectations for a franchise tied with NBA championships at 17 are always in win-now mode. Westbrook grew up in Los Angeles, and the team he grew up watching and loving was his beloved Lakers. Players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, and Kobe Bryant. Lakers greats and some of the greatest players that have ever played the game of basketball.
Photo Cred: http://www.fadeawayworld.net
With all the great history with the Lakers organization, Westbrook should have known it was extreme expectations to compete and win a championship for the purple & gold.
Russell Westbrook led the NBA in turnovers for most of the season. His decision-making at the point guard position was just atrocious at times. It was just a gut brunch to the Lakers organization. The Laker’s poor season wasn’t all on Westbrook. Basketball is a team sport, and everyone plays a role on a team. However, when you are selected as a top 75 player of all time while playing for one of the most storied franchises in sports, you have to produce.
Westbrook didn’t play his fulfill his obligation for the LA Lakers. LeBron and Anthony Davis not being unavailable mid season played a factor in Lakers underachieved as a team. Unlike Westbrook, when LeBron was available, he would always perform and do what he does best. He shows up and leaves everything out on the court. One of the main reasons the Lakers traded for Westbrook was to hold down the fork when LeBron or AD was out of the lineup.
Photo Cred: http://www.SI.com
All the talk this off-season is about Westbrook getting traded from the Los Angeles Lakers and going elsewhere. The real question is are the Lakers bringing Westbrook back and allowing him to redeem himself this upcoming season. Or will the Lakers move on and try a new experiment?