Russell Westbrook's exit interview from the Los Angeles Lakers may be the last time we hear from him while he is a representative of the Lakers. If that is the case, it was a fitting interview as Westbrook went tell-all while discussing the 2021-22 season.
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists this season. This was a massive fall for Brodie, who averaged a triple-double last season. While he didn't average one in his lone year with the Houston Rockets, he did score 27 points a game in a team that made moves to better accommodate him.
The Lakers didn't have a winning season on the court, missing the play-in tournament. However, Westbrook's personal priorities seemed to show during the exit interviews, as he remarked on the season's failure by talking about not averaging a triple-double.
"Just my play in general, not my best season, just going off my own personal scale," he said. "Obviously I'm coming off averaging a triple-double, so anything less than that would not be a good season for me in my eyes, you know what I'm saying? So that's why the scale of where it comes from is a little bit different." (h/t ESPN)
While this doesn't invalidate the failure being a larger one across the team, it shows that Westbrook has been very clearly keeping note of when he fails to average triple-doubles. His numbers have been a large part in him proving his worth as a tireless player that can do everything. However, that style wasn't what the Lakers needed, exposing the deficiencies in Westbrook's game.
Winning is a team benchmark for success and individual stats are a personal benchmark. But trying to achieve your individual benchmarks at the detriment of the larger team can invalidate everything that you have been working for, something that Westbrook has seen first-hand this season.