Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has had a rough go of it in Los Angeles — probably the complete opposite of what he thought the experience of teaming up with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony would be like.
After another horrible loss, a 123-95 blowout to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, a reporter asked Westbrook if the booing affects him, if he takes the frustration home to his kids.
It was definitely a question that triggered Westbrook, who has been mercilessly booed at home this season.
“Nah. Nah…Take it home? For what?,” Westbrook asked. “I got three beautiful kids at my house. My wife. I don’t take it home. They can take their booing and they can take they ass home. I ain’t worried about that. It doesn’t bother me none. I’m not worried about it at all and that’s how I deal with it. It rolls off my shoulders and I go home.”
The hosts of ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill and Max” podcast got a kick out of Westbrook’s response and addressed it on Monday.
Keyshawn said: “100. Love it.”
Max chimed in with: “It’s a great response.”
JWill tempered the enthusiasm by adding, “Not when you’re – 26 for the game though.”
Westbrook was an inefficient 5-of-15 from the floor and contributed just 16 points with seven turnovers and went 0-2 from distance in 28 minutes of action. Bron’s boys are 27-33 and currently a ninth seed in the West. The Lakers team has been going through some turmoil, so it’s not just Westbrook’s fault, although he has taken much of the abuse.
“It’s the same question every day, every time we lose,” Westbrook told reporters via ESPN. “How long is it gonna take?…we don’t know.”
James continues to blame the front office. The front office seems to be in disarray with Lakers president Jeanie Buss sharing decision-making powers with her friends Kurt (a former Lakers player) and Linda Rambis and the philosophical disconnect between the Lakers trying to protect themselves for the future (and their draft picks). Add to that James’ hopes to win a fifth championship at age 37.
One would expect Westbrook to be a bit testy after another poor performance and an embarrassing home loss. To bring his family into the situation was really a questionable decision by the reporter, but it definitely generated a soundbite with which media can run. The attacks on Westbrook’s character and the “trade Russ” talks have been relentless since December.
Lakers Nation had all decided that if the Lakers dumped Westbrook at the trade deadline, everything would go back to normal in Tinseltown. Crypto.com Arena hasn’t been rocking in months. To the dismay of many, he was still a member of the team once the deadline passed. In fact, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, didn’t make any moves to improve a sinking team.
It even came out last week that a large part of LeBron’s unhappiness with the organization stems from the fact that he wanted the Lakers to trade Westbrook for John Wall, who is a shell of his former self physically. The franchise refused, causing a further rift with their franchise superstar.
The season isn’t getting any smoother for LA with Anthony Davis still hobbled by injury and the Lakers slipping in the standings. The schedule doesn’t get any easier this week, with games against the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic, the feisty LA Clippers and a March 5 matchup against the surging Splash Brothers of Golden State.
Westbrook is going to be asked more tough questions and he’s going to grow increasingly frustrated if the Lakers don’t stop the bleeding and begin to turn this season around. You can’t blame him for being fed up because he’s been under constant attack. Time is running out on the Lakers and Russell Westbrook’s temper.
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