When the current NBA season started, many predicted the Los Angeles Lakers would go all the way. Indeed, they were in second place in the sports betting odds (behind the Brooklyn Nets), and general manager Rob Pelinka had brought in a bunch of stellar names. Things didn’t quite turn out the way many would have expected.
The Lakers finished the regular season with a dismal 33-49 record and failed to even advance to the qualifying tournament. Rightly or wrongly, much of the blame for the campaign’s failure has been placed on newcomer Russell Westbrook, and he’s not so happy about that fact.
Wonder where the Lakers go from here? the Sidelines Sports Betting Predictions because next season will be interesting, especially because head coach Frank Vogel was fired this month, just two years after leading the team to an NBA title.
While Westbrook isn’t the only reason the Lakers have suffered so much this season, he certainly hasn’t come close to the level that many might have expected from a nine-time NBA All-Star pick.
Indeed, Westbrook opted to divert some of the attention away from the starting coach, stating;
“I don’t know what his problem was with me”, before adding:
“I was never given a chance to be who I needed to be to help this team.”
The experienced star then developed a well-worn narrativeprimarily Westbrook being ultra-defensive and refusing to take legitimate criticism;
“When I first came here and unfortunately people create stories about me and who I am and what I do, what I believe in is just not true,”
“I always have to, like, prove myself year after year after year, which is, to me, just unfair; there’s really no reason for me to do this. So when I got here, I just felt like I never had a fair chance to be who I needed to be to be able to help this team.
Westbrook certainly seems to suffer from a lack of self-awareness on the matter, especially when the stats don’t support his case.
Now, there’s a lot of speculation that Westbrook could be traded to the Lakers; there’s no doubt the franchise is aware of the potentially destabilizing influence the 33-year-old could have.
Westbrook has been linked with a possible move to the Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, and it will be interesting to see where his career takes him next as the chances of him staying at the Crypto.com Arena seem slim. right now.
Some have predicted the Lakers could effectively pay him not to play and then seek to keep him until the NBA’s 2023 trade deadline.
Westbrook played 78 games for the failing Lakers in 2021-22 and posted his worst points per game since 2010, which tells you everything you need to know.
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