The Los Angeles Lakers are desperately looking to make a change this offseason after a disastrous run in the 2021-22 season. The Lakers were comfortably out of the playoffs, even missing the play-in tournament to the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs. A large chunk of the blame went to Russell Westbrook for his subpar performances throughout the year.
Westbrook refused to buy into the system that Frank Vogel had set up, as he demanded a starring role, even though his current skill-set meant he should be taking more of a backseat. Issues like this would boil over on the court, as Russ was noticeably lazy and almost unplayable on defensive rotations.
Players have moments of laziness and frustration, but they usually bounce back after being helped put by teammates and coaches, even if they need to just talk to someone to better figure out their mistakes. That isn't what Russell Westbrook does allegedly, as Jovan Buha reported that Westbrook would push back if called out in film sessions over his defensive effort.
“From stuff I heard last season, like during film sessions, he would you know push back on stuff that was very obvious of like, ‘Hey, you missed this defensive rotation'. “He did not like being the center of attention in those film sessions.” (h/t Clutch Points)
Yeah, Westbrook does not want to buy into the Lakers system. He still looks at himself as a star in this league, but he is in danger of not being wanted by any team because of such habits.
If he was unwilling to take criticism in film sessions, it shows what the Lakers have to contend with this season if he is to stay on the team. Considering how stubborn Russ is, there doesn't look to be any likely reconciliation here. A trade to send him away from the franchise is best for all parties at this point.