Russell Westbrook remains a hot topic around the NBA after a tumultuous 2021/22 season, his first with the Los Angeles Lakers. Right now, other than Darvin Ham, nobody wants Westbrook on the Lakers, and the team is reportedly looking for ways to part with the player, but nothing has happened so far.
The Lakers could be using a variety of tactics to get rid of Russ and maybe force him to say he's done with the organization and the fans and pull a Ben Simmons on them. At least that's what Colin Cowherd believes.
The Fox Sports analyst recently claimed that the organization wants Westbrook out as soon as possible and is using every play on the book to make that happen. He goes on to say that they're trying to humiliate Russ to make him refuse to play for the team (0:39):
"My feeling on this is the Lakers want him out," Cowherd said. "They want him out of the franchise. They are trying to humiliate him or marginalize him and for him to go, 'I'm not showing up. I'm out!" They think he's too toxic. I, by the way, do not think he's a starter for a decent NBA team anymore.
"I think he is a bench player. Maybe I'm wrong on that."
This is a bold claim by Cowherd, but seeing how things have gone for Westbrook and the Lakers so far, perhaps the team's officials are doing some dirty work to get under the player's skin and make him go crazy on them and leave the team before the start of next season.
Of course, this is just speculation, as some reports suggest that Westbrook is ready to face a new challenge under head coach Darvin Ham. Still, this could change at any minute, leaving the Lakers and the player in a complex position.