On an episode of Point Forward, Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala came to the defense of disgruntled point guard Russell Westbrook, who has been blitzed by the fans and media for his role in L.A.'s disastrous 2021-22 campaign.
According to Dre, all the noise is completely uncalled for and the NBA media is to blame.
“When these headlines hit or certain news hits the wire, sometimes you gotta take a step back and say, ‘Why would this be put out?’ I get pissed when they always have Russell Westbrook’s news like ‘This package went, they declined it. This team declined Russell Westbrook, this team declined Russell Westbrook... What are you really trying to do to this man? What did he do to y’all? ‘Cause, y’all just constantly keep doing this. What are you trying to accomplish?”
It is true that Westbrook has been a less than ideal fit in Los Angeles. His shortcomings as a shooter, defender, and playmaker have held the Lakers back and many fans believe he has already overstayed his welcome.
But there are also those who are willing to give Westbrook another chance, like Iguodala and Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.
"Russ is known for his huge competitive spirit, and the velocity at which he gets up and down the floor pushing the ball. The thing I said is 'you just have to diversify that.' Not only will he be leading the charge pushing the break, but screening and rolling, defending... that's where it's going to start, not only for Russ but for everybody... we have to get back to playing defense... Russ in my opinion is in great shape, he's durable... I'm excited as hell to have Russell Westbrook on our team," Ham said.
The media has come down pretty harsh on Russ, especially because he's not responsible for all of L.A.'s problems.
But if he really wants to silence all the haters, he needs to have a big season in 2022-23. If he can find his groove and re-discover the best version of himself on the court, it will force everyone to re-assess what kind of player Westbrook is.