Russell Westbrook, in his worst season: he earns 91 million dollars in the Lakers and his fans boo him
The situation became unsustainable wherever you look at it. As for the gamethe worst season of his career. From the economic point of view, a great headache for the leadership of the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell Westbrook, the king of the triple double and chosen among the best players in the history of the NBAseems to have bottomed out and this was reflected in his team’s victory against the New York Knicks this Saturday, where he already tired even his own fans, They did not hesitate to boo him. Their discreet numbers and his high contract for that season and the impressive option for the next, generates all kinds of doubts and anger for this starry star.
The Angelenos were left with a important victory by 122-115, in overtime. The game could have been for either of them during regular time, but the Lakers knew how to solve it better, especially because of what was done in the third quarter (partial from 31 to 13) and with an inspired LeBron James who returned with everything after five games absent due to a problem in one of his knees. The King he finished the game with a triple-double: 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
James’ great game was supported by Anthony Davis (28 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks) and Malik Monk’s 29 points. But the one who had the worst game of his season was Russell Westbrook. And not only was his performance bad this Saturday, he has been bad during the current season in which the Lakers spent $44 million (the fourth highest contract today) to add him to his roster. And they also assumed continuity, for 47 million for the coming season, of a guaranteed contract, in which the player has the option to analyze better offers.
Of course, with the current scenario, nobody could be interested in improving that contract. And, what seems even more complex: who would want to assume such a cost for a player who does nothing but go down the ravine? The Lakers could hardly include him in a transfer.
The fans, now, remember that for Westbrook to get to the Lakers, they had to give up three very good players like Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. At that time, the idea of adding the player who holds the record of 193 triple-doubles in his career seemed good… They were signing a player who had won the MVP in the 2016/17 season. What could go wrong?
Westbrook finished the match with the worst numbers of the season: 5 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 29 minutes. Weak numbers that get worse if you look at his box score: 4 losses, 0 of 3 in triples and 3 of 7 in free throws (he moves around 80% during his career) and an unacceptable 10% in field shots (1 of 10).
The situation is so bad and he has lost his confidence (and aim) so much that one of his shots it hit directly on the side of the board. It immediately sparked all kinds of taunts and memes on social media, as well as outrage from fans at the Crypto.com Arena in his hometown. Westbrook missed two pivotal free throws in the last period that gave life to the Knicks to take the duel to overtime.
As his performance was not being the best, the coach of the Lakers Frank Vogel decided not to use it during extra time so he did not play any minute. After the game, the head coach spoke about the player and said: “I hope the answer is that he plays better.” The one who left a message without mentioning it was LeBron James, with all that it means: “This is about accepting the responsibilities and consequences of your actions. If you are going to change, you have to look in the mirror and demand more of yourself”, expressed the team star.
His minutes on the pitch they are being impossible to justify. Offensives lacking the determination he showed during his other seasons in Oklahoma City and Houston Rockets jerseys. His stats would be considered good for any player: 18.4 points (43.7% shooting from the field); 7.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 34.7 minutes per game. But they are the intangibles, the bad decisions, the difficulties of adapting to a rhythm of play with his teammates. Westbrook is going through the worst moment of his career, even on defense he doesn’t show a good attitude.
His lousy season left him out, too, of the All Star Game. Public opinion turned its back on him once again, a clear message that the 33-year-old point guard should take note of. For him, for the team and for his future. For many rumors that exist these days, it is very difficult for him to leave the Lakers in a market that closes the chances of transfers next Thursday, February 10. His contract became a burden for whoever wears it.