It has been a difficult few months for Russell Westbrook.
The much-watched playmaker dismissed the blame for his disappointing season during his exit interview on Monday, saying he felt he didn’t have “a fair chance” to prove himself when he arrived in Los Angeles.
Skip Bayless has chronicled what he calls “the most bizarre rise of any player” in NBA history and shared what he thinks the future holds for the Los Angeles guard Lakers in a new episode of “The Skip Bayless Show”.
“It’s quite possible that Russell Westbrook – infallible, slam dunk, Hall of Famer in the first round – cannot find another home in this league, and [that] he won’t play basketball at 35,” Bayless said. [He] does not belong to the Hall of Fame… [or] in the NBA’s all-time 75. …about LeBron [James’] stage, by far the biggest stage Russ has ever performed on after OKC, Houston and Washington, Russ was finally exposed.
“He also led the league in snarling post-game comments to the media because every question he was asked, his response would be, ‘Do you know who I am? How dare you ask me that question, I’m Russell Westbrook. Well you were, or at least we thought you were. But you are not now.
Skip Bayless: ‘Westbrook could stop playing basketball at 35’
Skip Bayless explains why Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook’s NBA days could be numbered after a frustrating season in Los Angeles
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game for the 2021-22 season. He shot 44.4% from the field — including a lackluster 29.8% from 3-pointers — in 78 regular-season games. It is his lowest average since his rookie and second seasons with Oklahoma City (2008-10).
“In his exit interview the other day, Russ blamed Frank Vogel, who defended Russ more than anyone in the Lakers organization… [and] blamed the made-up media stories he had to keep answering that distracted him,” Bayless continued. “In the end, he said even LeBron and Anthony Davis didn’t really allow Russ to be Russ as they had said. … Do you even shoot big dogs?
“I’m convinced that Russ will be back next year with the Lakers because I’m also convinced [that] it is practically impossible to get rid of this contract. …Who wants to wish each other this nightmare?”
Westbrook has yet to decide on his $47.1 million player option for next season. If he gets it back, the Lakers will likely try to trade him. If he refuses, he will have the freedom to start looking for his next team.
Wherever it is.
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