Poor assessment of ex-MVP to blame for team struggles

KEY POINTS

  • Lakers management should be blamed for team woes, not Westbrook by sports scribe
  • Westbrook coming into Lakers fold may have been misjudged by James and management
  • Westbrook could be traded before NBA trade deadline, but move offers no assurance

Despite his best efforts, Russell Westbrook’s patience appears to be running out as he continues to struggle to prove he is a successful addition to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Being a former MVP, expectations were high when he was acquired by the Lakers in the offseason.

Los Angeles needed a third superstar, someone who could score and perform playmaking tasks.

On paper, everything looked perfect, although the thought of seeing how Westbrook might have less contact caught the pundits.

Therefore, the fit was seen as the next thing critics wanted to see, even though it was something that applied to all of the new faces on the Lakers roster.

But in the eyes of Forbes’ Morten Jensen, the fault should be blamed on Lakers management for the Westbrook deal.

Westbrook has had his moments with the Lakers although his stint this 2021-22 season has not started off on the right foot.

His numbers are a long way off and most felt the 33-year-old was not a good fit for the Lakers’ system.

Most criticize Westbrook for not adjusting to a new environment where he combines with not one but two legitimate superstars.

However, the nine-time All-Star believes he is doing well and that most choose to criticize his bad games rather than his good ones.

“The conversation has been a lot about how I play and what I do, but I think people expect me to be 25, 15 and 15,” Westbrook said in a report from the Launderer report. “This is not normal. Everyone should understand that it is not a normal thing that people do on a regular basis.”

Los Angeles Lakers goalie Russell Westbrook # 0 handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies goalie Tyus Jones # 21 Photo: Getty Images | Justin ford

At this point in the NBA season, the Lakers’ performance has fallen short of expectations.

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and it’s unclear if Westbrook will be dealt with.

Should that happen, there’s no guarantee the Lakers will improve either, especially as stars like Anthony Davis are sidelined with injuries.



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