“Construction Workers  Don’t Have Nothing On These Bricklayers From Southern California” | Stephen A. Pulls No Punches On Lakers’ Shooting Woes

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Over the summer, the Los Angeles Lakers’ support for Russell Westbrook was at an all-time high. While the talking heads in the media did everything but call him washed, the overall feeling was that he hindered the success that the Lakers are currently seeking. However, last night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Westbrook shot 0-for-11 from the field, scoring only two points on free throws. The performance only poured more fuel on an already smoldering fire within the Russell Westbrook business of athleticism.

King James stayed loyal when discussing his much-beleaguered teammate after the 103-97 loss in the first battle of L.A. for 2022.

“I thought he played a great game,” LeBron James said. “Defensively he was into it; he was locked in and pushing the tempo. He just didn’t make any shots.”

“Flush it down the toilet; get ready for Sunday,” James continued. “We’ve all had bad shooting nights, I’ve had bad shooting nights, everybody in this league has had bad shooting nights. Who cares?”

Unfortunately for James, everyone else cares, and with a franchise as storied as the purple and gold, any Westbrook misstep on the court will have more significant ramifications on the narratives being disseminated.

“I just gotta be honest with y’all; they’re awful,’ Smith said during Friday’s episode of “First Take.” “The Lakers are just awful at shooting the basketball. LeBron is absolutely right when he talks about doing hellafied defense. These brothers would put construction workers to shame. Construction workers don’t have nothing on these bricklayers in Southern California.

“I mean, my God,” Smith continued. ”My God. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen the Lakers be this bereft of shooters. It’s that bad! It’s a sensitive thing with me because Russell Westbrook can walk around with this truculent look and all this other stuff; the brother’s a good dude. Good-character dude. I got a lot of love for the brother, and respect because he’s real, he ain’t fake, and there’s nothing I have to say about his character. If you’re Russell Westbrook, when we say you can’t shoot, you have to respect that’s not an attack against your character.”

Westbrook has taken a lot of personal attacks since integrating into the Lakers’ system, mainly from Skip Bayless. The co-host of “Undisputed” went on a personal crusade, labeling the star “Westbrick” and cementing the overriding storyline that he is not the player he used to be.

“I don’t even wanna bring my kids to the game because I don’t want them to hear people calling their dad nicknames,” Westbrook said.

Through two games in the new season, Westbrook has averaged 10.5 points per game and is shooting 30 percent from the field. In his first season with the Lakers last year, Westbrook averaged under 20 points per game for the first time since the 2009–10 season.

The Lakers are paying Westbrook $47 million for this season which is the final year of his contract. Although the Lakers tried to trade him in the offseason, the fact that they couldn’t find a deal that made sense for all parties provide a glimpse into the future negotiations for Westbrook, who is experiencing a brand value issue now at this phase of his career.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.