Russell Westbrook Discussion: I Can't Make Layups!?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Lakers Discussion' started by LaVarBallsDad, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Pioneer10

    Pioneer10 - Lakers 6th Man -

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2019
    Messages:
    1,580
    Likes Received:
    3,786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    I should clarify, Wall would still get minutes but because he is definitely rusty and hasn't played and coming of a major injury there wouldn't be the same obligation to play him in finishing or 4th quarter lineups or close to 40 minutes a night. You would also be able to rest him on back to backup,etc.
     
  2. ZenMaster

    ZenMaster - Lakers All Star -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    9,118
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    Once more... He dumb.
     
    Juronimo, LTLakerFan and TIME like this.
  3. TIME

    TIME Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    18,798
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Lifelong Lakers fan.
    Location:
    LaLa Land
    Offline
    Westbrook is obviously intelligent. He has built a nice side business in fashion. But, in terms of his on court decisions, yeah. If it was a rare brain fart like LeBron has, no problem. But every end game situation he consistently makes the wrong choices.
     
    karacha and LTLakerFan like this.
  4. abeer3

    abeer3 - Lakers Legend -

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    15,504
    Likes Received:
    41,602
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    hasn't wall been complaining about not playing/starting in houston?
     
  5. Pioneer10

    Pioneer10 - Lakers 6th Man -

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2019
    Messages:
    1,580
    Likes Received:
    3,786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    I mean he wants to play: I'm ok with that. I'm in the camp that Westbrook is a net negative that will worsen this team in ability to win critical games.
    If you believe that and also consider him a negative trade asset due to his contract, you are left with little choice. I'd rather go with a player who will want minutes but you have a built in rationale and expectations that don't require him to play 30+ mpg a game plus crunch time.
     
  6. NickthaQuick

    NickthaQuick - Rookie -

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2021
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Offline
    https://theathletic.com/3070338/202...tar-isnt-letting-his-struggles-steal-his-joy/

    Hollywood has its history of producing thespians, so maybe Russell Westbrook was merely acting as he took a slow walk down the tunnel of the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento late Wednesday night.

    The Lakers star had just finished his latest unflattering shift at the office, a cold-as-ice night in a loss to the lowly Kings that inspired the brutally honest admission that he “can’t make a ****ing shot” of late, when he headed for the exits in the most curious of moods. All this scrutiny that surrounds him, with so many people wondering why the Lakers added the Why Not? guy last summer and rival teams recently revealing that there was some internal regret about the choice, yet here he was sporting the kind of smile that belied the mood of the moment and, for that matter, the all-black outfit he’d chosen to wear.

    This kid from Compton Avenue who is now a 33-year-old man, the Triple Double King and future Hall of Famer who is struggling so mightily to find his way with the hometown team he’d always dreamed of joining, wants you to know the truth about why he’s still happy to be in Laker Land. And while some fans may not like the answer, especially considering the Lakers (21-21) look nothing like a title contender these days and Westbrook is widely seen as the primary reason why, his reasoning has absolutely nothing to do with basketball.

    “Yeah, man, (he’s happy because) I get to see my kids, my family, my mom, my dad,” he told The Athletic while he headed for the team bus. “To me, that’s more important than anything else. I’m able to be home and be able to embrace them. They get to see me, and as they get older I get to see my kids every day and take them to school every morning. To me, that brings joy.”

    The sequence of events that led to our conversation was quite unique. For starters, Westbrook had been surprisingly forthcoming, insightful and even humorous during his postgame news conference with the handful of reporters who were on hand. That’s not his chosen style in most most interview sessions, let alone one that took place during one of the worst stretches of his famed career.

    The last time I’d taken part in one of these types of sessions, back when Westbrook was a minus-23 in his Lakers debut against Golden State at (then) Staples Center on Oct. 19, he brooded afterward in the kind of way that tends to make a room shrink. It was LeBron James, if you remember, imploring Westbrook to take solace in the fact that he could go home and hug his kids that night.

    Truth be told, it was this prickly personal history that had even inspired a disagreement among reporters after the Kings game about whether it was worthwhile, or wise even, to request Westbrook’s participation in the latest media session. Yet next thing you know, from the formal press conference that was aired for all the world to see to a brief side discussion with reporters afterward to our chat in the hallway afterward, it was as if he was making a run at the Magic Johnson award that goes to the most media-friendly (high-profile) player every year. And if Westbrook was acting, this was an Oscar-worthy performance.

    Narrator’s voice: He wasn’t acting.

    “I swear, nobody can imagine it for me because everybody thinks about basketball as the end-all-be-all, but it’s really not, you know?” he continued. “Sportswriters, everybody’s got their own opinion. But I really believe that me being able to do (be in LA) and embrace my kids, it makes them — it puts a smile on my face regardless of what’s happening now.”

    So while the Lakers may have had second thoughts about this pairing, in other words, he has not.

    “No,” he said when asked if he had any regrets about the move. “Nah. I mean, not at all, because — like I told you — it’s bigger than basketball for me.”

    The family component is clearly the saving grace for Westbrook’s spirit. Playing in LA means having his loved ones close by in this place where he rose to prominence at Leuzinger High and UCLA, and where he’s still holding out hope of a storybook finish in these next few months.

    There are his parents, Russell and Shannon, his wife, Nina Westbrook, and their three young kids (older son Noah and twin daughters Jordyn and Skye). Take one glance at their latest Christmas picture — the one with the silly faces, the beautiful tree and blessings all around — and it’s easy to see that these claims of bliss and peacefulness are indeed very real.

    But when it comes to the day job, Westbrook knows that there’s no running from the reality that his stature — and more specifically, his salary — has everything to do with the criticism that will continue to come his way unless the Lakers pull off a miraculous turnaround here. With annual earnings of $44,211,146 this season, he’s the league’s fourth-highest paid player behind Steph Curry, James Harden and John Wall. James ($41,180,544) is sixth and Davis is 15th ($35,631,360).

    Enormous pay-days have always come with hefty expectations in pro sports, and so it is that the Lakers’ struggles have mostly fallen at his feet. After all, as the thinking goes for so many fans, James and Davis already showed they could win a title in 2020. Unless Westbrook can show that his presence takes them to a new level, then the wrath will most certainly continue. Yet by any measure, that has simply not been the case.

    It was fair to assume that his individual production would decline because of the choice to join two other stars. Sure enough, Westbrook is averaging 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists while playing more minutes than any other player in the league so far. But the Lakers’ net rating is better when he’s off the floor (plus-0.3) than on (minus-1.9), with the offense marginally better and the defense significantly worse. Davis’ recent absence has only compounded the problems, as the Lakers have lost seven of 12 games since he sprained his MCL.

    To hear Westbrook and James tell it, there’s a human element that is proving quite problematic at the moment. They all agreed to sacrifice back in the summer, when Westbrook came to James’ house and discussed these sorts of things before the deal with Washington went down. But as is always the case in situations like these, those choices are always easier to stomach when they lead to success that everyone can enjoy. The losing, however, has a tendency to complicate matters on that front.

    “We’re all trying to figure it out as a team, as a unit, to be able to say, ‘Ok, how can we figure this out?’” Westbrook said in our chat. “And I know I’m the one who has got to make the biggest sacrifice — and I understand that — so I’ve got to be able to figure out a way to be able to make the best out of it and make the best for this team and that’s it.”

    Watch Westbrook closely on any given night, and you might see the frustration get the best of him. He’ll sit by himself on the bench while Lakers coach Frank Vogel gathers the team during a timeout, or camp out in the corner when the play doesn’t call for the ball to be in his hands. When asked recently about the way he has been used, he described it as “all over the place” and said “my job changes every night.” Hence the discomfort.

    “Trying to figure it out,” he told me. “I mean, we still don’t have the answer. We done changed the way we play a couple times (laughs). Just for me, it’s trying to figure out the best way to be able to implement how I play the game with this team.”

    But with the trade deadline nearing on Feb. 10, what if this team decided it was done playing with him? While a deal is widely believed to be extremely unlikely, in large part, because he has a player option worth $47 million for next season, the mere fact that there has been even the mildest chatter about the Lakers showing interest in trading Westbrook made me wonder how that might sit with him.

    Even with all the bigger-than-basketball benefits that came with this latest relocation, and after this choice to push his way back home in August meant he would play for his fourth team in the last four seasons, might that kind of tumult steal one’s joy?

    “I never worry,” he fired back. “Do the job. Be professional. Every year, my name is in trade (rumors). It never, never, never seeps into how I approach what I do. It’s kind of what I was mentioning back there (during the press conference). I see this game so different (in terms of) how to use it to be able to impact things.

    “Regardless of if (a trade) did happen or if it didn’t happen, nothing’s going to change my mentality or my purpose. I feel like I have a purpose that’s bigger than basketball and I always keep that as my forefront regardless of what happens inside of pro sports.”
     
    lakerjones likes this.
  7. abeer3

    abeer3 - Lakers Legend -

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    15,504
    Likes Received:
    41,602
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    excellent. opt out and sign for the full 4-year MLE. you give up 7 million dollars but for so much joy, right?

    pretty stark contradictions there. i'll make the big sacrifice, but pout pretty hard about it. that's...not sacrificing.

    but seriously, just play defense. please. any defense.
     
    LTLakerFan and Juronimo like this.
  8. ZenMaster

    ZenMaster - Lakers All Star -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    9,118
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    Hold on. He is Russell Junior? Oh man...
     
  9. FrontOfJersey22

    FrontOfJersey22 - Rookie -

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2021
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    998
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Offline
    Well, it’s nice that he’s so joyful while millions of Laker Faithful around the world are miserable watching his team perform most nights. Enjoy it while it lasts.
     
    LTLakerFan and Juronimo like this.
  10. lakerjones

    lakerjones Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7,822
    Likes Received:
    22,765
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    La La land
    Offline
    Good article. I’m still a Westbrook fan. Unlike most here I’m happy he’s a Laker, that he’s Kobe approved, that he is Lebron and AD approved as well. I haven’t given up on him by a long shot. As I’ve said before he’s not the reason we’ve struggled this season. There are myriad reasons including the near complete roster changeover, the injuries to our two best players and the inability to have any kind of consistent lineups, practice and chemistry. Westbrook has been much more good than bad and I think if AD comes back they will figure this thing out. Unpopular idea I know but I’m sticking with it.
     
    JSM likes this.
  11. JSM

    JSM - Lakers All Star -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    7,572
    Likes Received:
    28,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    I know he's not liked at the moment, but his retort was pretty good


    And that's the last time the Kings will be able to play it
     
  12. Pioneer10

    Pioneer10 - Lakers 6th Man -

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2019
    Messages:
    1,580
    Likes Received:
    3,786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    Come on: does the NBA really need to step in here?
     
    432J and Juronimo like this.
  13. Toklat

    Toklat - Rookie -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    2,214
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Offline
    That would make a good game time speech....lol
     
    LTLakerFan likes this.
  14. Toklat

    Toklat - Rookie -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    2,214
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Offline
    I was a Russ supporter for awhile. I took the last few games and focused on watching him more than the game. Completely changed my mind on him. He does so many things wrong defensively, gets back cut, doesn't rotate well, overplays. On offense he pounds or holds the ball too long, bad or ill timed shots, not passing to open players that are on hot, staring at his hands in disbelief when he misses instead of going back to play d. The other teams give him any shot he wants because they know he will likely miss. His turnovers are down so there is that. These are obvious, there is much more if someone wanted to nitpick. He is not the reason for everything going bad but right now he is the main reason in my opinion. I hope he turns it around. He could if he just decided to play team ball. Would be as easy as that. To do so he will have to sacrifice some stats and ego.
     
    alam1108, abeer3, Weezy and 1 other person like this.
  15. ZenMaster

    ZenMaster - Lakers All Star -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    9,118
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    He personally may not be THE reason. His 44 million dollars per year ARE.
     
  16. KareemtheGreat33

    KareemtheGreat33 - Lakers MVP -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    8,009
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Brow-beater
    Location:
    Las Islas Filipinas
    Offline
    I shudder on how many good players can be had for 44Million, obviously the Eagle, maybe Otto Porter, absorb Jerami Grant:ADGlance:
     
    sirronstuff likes this.
  17. KareemtheGreat33

    KareemtheGreat33 - Lakers MVP -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    8,009
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Brow-beater
    Location:
    Las Islas Filipinas
    Offline
    And now there is this, we officially lost the trade

     
  18. LaVarBallsDad

    LaVarBallsDad - Lakers Legend -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    13,965
    Likes Received:
    25,618
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    Russ sucks!
     
    ZenMaster likes this.
  19. sirronstuff

    sirronstuff - Lakers Legend -

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    25,940
    Likes Received:
    66,815
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Joe Biden’s Campaign Manager
    Location:
    Island of La Palma
    Offline
    When 2k slaps you, it double hurts

    RB facing his athletic mortality and needs to adjust quickly if we are to make a run
     
  20. abeer3

    abeer3 - Lakers Legend -

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    15,504
    Likes Received:
    41,602
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Offline
    pretty much this for me. it's a little irritating to hear him talk about sacrifice, as i mentioned a few posts back. he doesn't do it.
     
    LTLakerFan likes this.

Share This Page