Is Russell Westbrook in denial about failure with the Lakers?

by Russell Westbrook return tour to Los Angeles was anything but memorable.

The Los Angeles native had long dreamed of lacing up his sneakers for purple and gold, but once his dream came true, it turned out to be more nightmarish than idyllic.

Despite having fair numbers every night (18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists), his propensity for missed shots (43.8% from the field), high volume turnovers (3, 8 per game) and the tiffs on the pitch outweighed his positive contributions.

And many have blamed his management for much of the Lakers’ struggles. But Westbrook himself had other thoughts about what went wrong at Tinseltown this season.

“When I came here, the ability to be able to do what I’m able to do for a team and an organization didn’t have a fair chance,” he told reporters during his end-of-term interview. season Monday. “Yeah, [LeBron James and Anthony Davis said ‘let Russ be Russ’]but it was not true.”

Westbrook added that Frank Vogel’s apparent displeasure with him was a development he didn’t particularly understand.

“I think it’s unfortunate, to be honest, because I’ve never had a problem with any of my coaches before,” he said of Vogel. “I don’t know what his problem was with me, or I don’t know why, but I can’t really tell you why we never really connected.”

He made sure to take some responsibility, though.

“Just my game in general, not my best season, just off my personal scale,” he said. “Obviously I’m starting on average from a triple-double so anything less than that wouldn’t be a good season for me in my eyes, you know what I’m saying? That’s why the scale of where it comes is a little bit different.”

Despite Westbrook’s concession, Nick Wright claimed the guard was in denial. He compared Westbrook to another former star whose decline in the late 2000s was quick and steep.

“Allen Iverson went from 26 PPG, then two more NBA seasons, played for four teams, less than 90 games overall, then out of the league,” he said on ‘First Things First’ Tuesday.

“If Russell Westbrook continues to deny what he can and can’t do, and what really is a valuable contribution to an NBA team in 2022, and where he falls into it, he’s going to be down the same path. C to me is less about the Lakers and more about Russ – a first-round Hall of Famer, one of the 40 greatest players of the past 50 years – what he will become and how long he has left if he does not recognize what he needs to become.”

Chris Broussard agreed with Iverson’s view of Wright, adding that he thought Westbrook was referring to the media when discussing preconceived ideas about him at the start of the season.

“Iverson was obviously a phenomenal and iconic legend,” Broussard said. “And Russ will be the same 30 years from now. We’ll be talking about the guy who averaged a triple-double for four seasons. But Iverson, like Russ, played a certain way. They weren’t built for play a role. It’s all been built around the two. He’s going to have a hard time going somewhere and playing a role.

“I think when he was talking about stories being created about him before the season, he was talking about the media. And he’s right: most of the media, including me, thought it was a bad call and it wouldn’t. wouldn’t work. I think he felt like it had been said before, ‘so when I got there, once we started losing, it was all put on me.'”

Skip Bayless called Westbrook “delusional”.

“In all my years of watching every sport very closely, I’ve never seen a player as delirious as this player,” Bayless said in ‘Undisputed’. “Sometimes it gets downright sad. It was the ultimate pointing the finger, the blame, the playoff deflection. It was pointing the finger at everything and everyone but the man in the mirror.”

Shannon Sharpe accepted.

“Have you ever seen a crazier athlete in your life than Russell Westbrook? he asked Bayless. “Russ never had a problem with other coaches because they didn’t hold you accountable for your terrible play. So because Frankie V was trying to hold you accountable, you didn’t like him!”

Russell Westbrook says he didn’t have ‘a fair chance’

Russell Westbrook says he wasn't given

In his exit interview, Russell Westbrook mentioned that he “never had a fair chance” to gel with purple and gold. Shannon Sharpe reacts to Russ’ comments and explains what her future looks like in Los Angeles

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