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OKC Thunder Beat Writer Defends Russell Westbrook Amid Widespread Criticism: "Imagine Being The Only Employee Putting In 100% Effort And Then Taking 100% Of The Blame When Your Company Comes In Under Projections."

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook hasn't had the easiest time in Los Angeles. Since his arrival, the guy has had a difficult time fitting in and making things work alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Now, his trade stock has reached an all-time low as he receives the brunt of the blame for L.A.'s problems.

Still, despite Westbrook's awful performance this past season, not everyone has turned against him.

OKC beat writer Brandon Rahbar, for example, recently defended Russ in a scathing Tweet this weekend.

Imagine being the only employee showing up at your job every day, putting in 100% effort to try to carry an inexperienced staff missing its top two employees, leading your company in every data point and then taking 100% of the blame when your company comes in under projections.

Say what you want about Westbrook's game, but you can't deny the effort he gives night in and night out. As LeBron James and AD missed games left and right (for various reasons), Russ was the constant through it all and continued to show up and play despite all the noise.

Worst of all, Russ has been alienated by those very same teammates, which has made the situation awkward for the entire organization.

There was evidence of strain a week ago when Westbrook attended one of the Lakers’ Summer League games in Las Vegas and sat near the team bench but did not approach or seem to publicly acknowledge teammate LeBron James in any way. James did not approach Westbrook either, and the two teammates left the game at different times through opposing entrances in Thomas & Mack Arena. This incident came on the heels of widespread reports that James is interested in a reunion with Irving, with whom he won a title with Cleveland in 2016.

It's hard to say what comes next for Russell and the Lakers. By all accounts, they are headed for an ugly divorce, but parting ways isn't going to be so easy.

In the meantime, Russ is keeping his head down and doing his best not to make the situation worse. It will be interesting to see how this saga finally ends.