When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook this offseason, it was a joyous moment for the fans. Many believed that adding Westbrook to the already great duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis was the recipe for success this season.
Unfortunately, with more than half of the season already played, this system has not worked well for the purple and gold. Westbrook might have shown a few signs of stardom here and there, but he has been highly inconsistent throughout the season.
This has led to things finally going over the boiling point when the Lakers lost against the Indiana Pacers. It was a huge surprise for fans and sports pundits alike. A prime example of it was James Worthy's reaction during the postgame show.
Apart from that shocking defeat, another weird thing happened in the fixture. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel decided to bench the team's supposed third superstar, Russell Westbrook in the crunch time.
Brodie was not having a great night, but he was still having a decent night from the 3-point line. That could have helped the Lakers in the dying minutes of the game. On top of that, it must be a confidence-shattering moment for the former NBA MVP to be benched in such a crucial time in the game.
Many sports pundits have given their opinion about this decision by Frank Vogel. The latest to do so is NBA analyst Tony Kornheiser. In a recent video, he said:
"You can’t bring Russell Westbrook to your team, and then bench him in crunch time. You can’t do that. He’s played in the league for 14 years and he’s going to the Hall of Fame. Everybody knows his strengths are his effort and everybody knows he’s not a great shooter,” he said. “He’s a great scorer, he’s not a great shooter. You can’t humiliate him and say that he’s not as valuable because he didn’t play as good defense as Malik Monk. You have to trade him today, Mike. You have to trade him today. ... I hold Pelinka responsible, I hold Vogel responsible, I hold LeBron James responsible. And now we're going to wait and see what LeBron James as GM does with Russell Westbrook."
Kornheiser didn't hold back one bit while calling out the crucial figures in the Lakers organization. He even concluded by saying that LeBron James has the future of Westbrook in his hands.
While Russ might not be at his best, he is still a decent player. And as Kornheiser mentioned, Brodie has never been a great shooter. But he can score the ball. Unfortunately, in the current Lakers system that is quite difficult for him. The reason is quite simple: he doesn't have the ball in his hand for a prolonged period of time.
Brodie is a ball-dominant player and he needs to have the ball in his hand to be effective. Maybe the coach will change his tactic to help Russ get back in rhythm, otherwise, we might actually see Westbrook getting traded soon.