Russell Westbrook has been getting a lot of the blame for the Lakers' season-long struggles. Admittedly, arrival has not been seamless and, at times, his game has looked completely out of control.
Still, with calls for Russ to be traded growing by the day, LeBron James did not point any fingers. Instead, he took the opportunity on Monday to show some solidarity and reinforce a united front for his squad.
“We all in the foxhole together. There is not one guy who is doing it by themself. There’s not one guy you can blame over another guy. There’s not one guy who gets the praise over another guy. When we lose, we all lose. When we win, we all win.”
Statistically, Russ is having one of the worst seasons of his career. His points are down to 18.4 per game and his assists are at just 7.7 after averaging 11.1 a year ago. Most worryingly, however, has been Westbrook's defensive effort, which is even worse than many Lakers fans imagined.
At this point, it is clear that Russ is not a good fit for the team as presently constructed. Despite all of this, James has never wavered in his support of the 9x All-Star.
"I told him to text me later," said LeBron about Westbrook's 1-10 night on Saturday. "I told him to keep going, stop second-guessing himself... He's an instinctive player, with what he's done in this league, he should never second guess himself... I have the utmost confidence in his ability."
The Lakers are just 26-28 this season, a position they will look to improve as the deadline approaches. According to several sources, Rob Pelinka will be active in his pursuit of a trade, but it remains to be seen if he can find anything that will help turn the season around.
For now, the Lakers will have to work with who they've got, and that includes Westbrook. While countless fans have already given up hope, Bron does not seem fazed at all.