The Los Angeles Lakers were the butt of all jokes in the 2021-22 season. While the side was touted as favorites for the title as they added Russell Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers experiment failed miserably. With the Lakers not even making it to the play-in tournament, the team which was stacked on paper at the end of the day was nowhere to be seen.
While injuries certainly played a major role in the team's lack of success, many fans considered that Russell Westbrook was the biggest reason why the team could not win. Given that Westbrook had a disappointing season and could not help the 2020 champions, he became an easy target for fans to attack.
Fans Defend Russell Westbrook
Although majority of the community has found Westbrook as the scapegoat for the Lakers' failures, there are still some Brodie fans who are here to defend the guard. In a recent post, a fan wanted to remind people how good Brodie actually was and why discarding him would be foolish.
The amount of slander this man gets is crazy. I get saying he's not good now but man Russ was THAT guy in his prime. I swear no one was saying his MVP was undeserved at the time but now people want to go back and take it away from him.
Clutch play after clutch play, unbelievable court vision, and athleticism that's almost matched by no one.
Again I get why he gets slander for his current play but don't discredit his whole career over a couple bad years after an injury and as he's getting older
Many fans reacted to the now viral post.
"They been discrediting his mvps since day 1. Many people had harden."
"Man, that signature Westbrook Tomahawk just hits different - the hang time, the suspense, and then the hit is just chef’s kiss"
"Rockets Russ was a boss. He had the most 20+ point games in a row that season. Attacked the ring a lot more. When you watch that Russ you wonder how he can’t fit into this Lakers team (apart from our obvious lack of 3 point shooting)."
"From the RoCo trade until the league shut down the rockets were an absolute force. I think Russ led the league in paint PPG ahead of dudes like Giannis and Zion"
"I agree he gets trashed way too much, especially by casuals."
"Westbrook was always one of the most exciting players to watch."
"Russ was one of the players of all time. My favorite moment was when he played against KD for the first time and yelled “Its Russin time” and Russed all over KD"
"The disrespect to Russ kinda annoys me. People do this in sports all the time aka “he’s bad now so he must have been bad all the time but no one was brave enough to say it but I am” the man had to be the #1 option on a team who had nothing else."
"The guy has a slim chance of finishing his career with 30k/10k/10k, which is something only LeBron has accomplished so far."
"Russ is an all time great player."
"Russ was THAT guy in his prime."
"The fact that he averaged a triple double three seasons in a row is absolutely insane"
"MVP Westbrook was a monster. Well deserved for sure."
"I'll never forget how good prime Russ was."
"Russ was amazing on the Wizards a couple seasons ago. He was putting up MVP stat lines during the second half of the season to rally the Wizards into the playoffs"
There is no doubting that Westbrook will be regarded as one of the best guards of his generation, but now, he needs to step up with the Los Angeles Lakers. With a new coach at the helm, there are multiple reasons for Russ to be excited. If the Purple and Gold find a way to incorporate Westbrook into the lineup and he can perform as per expectations, the narrative surrounding Brodie will change rapidly. Can Westbrook change his legacy with the Lakers?