Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook had a difficult 2021-22 season. He struggled in his first campaign with his hometown Lakers so much that fans booed him at home games and attacked him on social media.
The purple and gold are widely expected to part ways with Westbrook this summer and it looks like the one-time MVP wants a change of scenery as well. The All-Star guard recently liked a comment on Instagram urging him to leave the Lakers.
Westbrook appeared in 78 games this season. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field, 29.8% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line. The two-time scoring champion was second in the NBA in turnovers and had a plus-minus of –211.
Westbrook Showed No Accountability During Exit Interview
Instead of owning up to his poor play, Westbrook blamed Frank Vogel and the Lakers organization for how he performed in 2021-22 during his exit interview with reporters. The NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles showed no accountability.
“I think it’s unfortunate to be honest because I’ve never had an issue with any of my coaches before,” Westbrook said about Vogel. “I’m not sure what his issue was with me or I’m not sure why, but I can’t really give you an answer to why we really never connected. That’s something that he has to answer, but I never, from the get-go, was feeling like (we were on the same page.) I was having to try to prove myself to him and my capabilities and what I’ve been able to do for this game and it’s unfortunate but it’s really not (my fault). It’s kind of out of my hands.
“When I first got here, unfortunately, people create narratives of who I am and what I do and what I believe in that just aren’t true. I’m always having to prove myself again year after year after year, which to me is really unfair. There’s no reason for me to have to do that. So when I first got in here, I just felt that I never was given a fair chance just to be who I needed to be to help this team.”
Westbrook Talks About NBA Future
Westbrook was asked what would entice him to want to play for the Lakers again after everything he went through this season during his exit interview. The future Hall of Famer, who was born and raised in California, said his decision will come down to several factors.
“I mean obviously it’s going to be a lot of different changes based on who the coach is and how our style of play and what we play like,” Westbrook said. “So that question is kind of up in the air, but once that decision is made, then we’ll kind of go from there.”
Thus far, the Charlotte Hornets have been mentioned by league insiders as a franchise to watch with possible interest in trading for Westbrook, according to Marc Stein of Substack.