“Nothing, Man … What Do You Think Should Change?” | Russell Westbrook Goes Back And Forth With Reporter As Lakers Drop Out Of Play-In Tournament

(Screenshot ESPN)

The Los Angeles Lakers have seven games remaining in what has been a dreadful season. They are currently in 11th place, out of the play-in tournament, after Tuesday night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. There is plenty of blame to go around, but with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out with injuries, Russell Westbrook was the lone big name left to answer questions postgame about the team’s poor play. Westbrook was asked what needs to change and said “nothing.” He even turned the question around on the reporter and asked what he suggested they do? It sent the internet into a tizzy.

“Nothing, man. Nothing,” Westbrook said when asked what is needed to change. When asked why, Westbrook said, “’Cause it doesn’t, we still got games to play. Other teams still got games to play, we still gotta play teams that’s above us in the play-in. It doesn’t change much.”
Westbrook then flipped the question to the LA Times’ Brad Turner, asking him “what do you think should change?”

Not even making the play-in after beginning the season as the Las Vegas betting favorite to win it all is quite the fall. We know about Westbrook’s poor play for most of the season and how that contributed to the team’s record. But this roster is poorly constructed, and that blame lies at the feet of LeBron and general manager Rob Pelinka.

As to Westbrook’s exchange with the reporter, it wasn’t a good look. But are we really expecting Westbrook to change in his 14th season?

He has routinely been curt and even disrespectful to some media members over the course of his career. As a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook refused to speak to or even acknowledge Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.

When you’re making All-NBA teams, All-Star teams, and playing well, that type of behavior is tolerated; regardless of how wrong it is. But now everyone wants to clutch their pearls after enabling his petulant behavior for years.

When Turner suggested “winning” as an answer, Westbrook continued the back-and-forth by asking,

“That’s fine. You got an answer to winning? You got an answer to winning?”

This is part of the deal and Westbrook knows it. The team finishes a game and win or loss players are asked questions and required to provide answers. They don’t need to be good or insightful answers. Just responses to the mundane questions they are asked on a daily basis. That’s what the money’s for, and Westbrook is making $44 million this year.

As Westbrook and Turner were having their conversation away from the podium, the former All-Star noticed the entire exchange was being recorded. His tone changed and he dapped up Turner.

“We cool,” Westbrook said. “Y’all gotta make sure to record that.”

Westbrook is smart enough to know how the media cycle works, and that was no doubt an attempt to defuse the situation. No matter, as it was still a topic on all the talking head shows on Wednesday morning.

What Westbrook and the Lakers desperately need is for this nightmare of a season to come to an end and bring some time away from the cameras.