Russell Westbrook Takes Shot At LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The 2021-22 NBA season was one of the most disappointing in franchise history for the Los Angeles Lakers. They were pegged as one of the favorites to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but things went so far off the rails that Los Angeles didn’t even qualify for a post in the NBA Play-In Tournament taking place this week.

One of the reasons for the team’s struggles was the performance of point guard, Russell Westbrook. It was a huge risk acquiring Westbrook from the Washington Wizards, one that many people thought wouldn’t work out when it was announced. Those people were proven correct, as the results were disastrous.

Westbrook’s skill set always seemed like a poor fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. His weaknesses, such as shooting and defense, were accentuated in that trio, as James and Davis needed as much spacing as possible to succeed.

Following his exit interview with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, Westbrook had a lot to say. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were touched on, as Westbrook took shots at them when talking to reporters.

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The 2017 league MVP also said that LeBron James’ and Anthony Davis’ repeated intentions to “let Russ be Russ” in unlocking the best version of the former All-Star were disingenuous.

“Yeah, [they said it],” Westbrook said. “But that wasn’t true.”

When asked to elaborate, Russell Westbrook said it came down to the pieces being unable to complement one another.

“It’s a combination of where we are on the floor, positioning, fit and challenge, trial and error, being able to play on the floor with each other,” Westbrook said. “Finding ways to be able to utilize us to the best of our abilities. It’s that simple.”

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There is only so much that the players on the court can do. A lot of what Westbrook mentioned, such as positioning and utilizing them to the best of their abilities, comes down to coaching. However, the ability to play on the floor with each other is likely a shot at James and Davis.

Russell Westbrook missed only one game all season before being held out of the final two contests after the team was eliminated from the postseason. LeBron James and Anthony Davis, however, missed large chunks of the season. James produced some gaudy stats when on the court, but played in only 56 games. Davis missed half of the games for a second consecutive season, playing in only 40.

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The inability to stay on the court and develop some chemistry and cohesion certainly played a part in the lack of success the Los Angeles Lakers found this season. Ultimately, however, this was a trio that didn’t fit skill set-wise and it resulted in some ugly performances and a franchise looking like they are directionless.

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