Russell Westbrook earned a lot of hate and criticism during the 2021/22 NBA season due to his inability to mesh with LeBron James on the floor and make a big impact on the Los Angeles Lakers.
They were eliminated from play-in contention earlier this week, and even though LeBron James has been under fire for that disappointing outcome, Russ also got criticized for his displays.
While fans and media tried everything to bring him down, Russ seemed to be confident in his abilities and his teammates constantly showed their support for the former NBA MVP. However, it seems like all these displays weren't as honest as they looked, and many people tried to mess up with Westbrook.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, while the coaching staff was very straightforward to Russ, the rest of the team wasn't like that, which led to more problems for the point guard.
“The reality of the season was that Russ has been in a dark corner, and he doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe,” a team source told Shelburne. “Then, if something doesn’t go well for him, he backs up a little more.”
"There's also guys in the locker room who were so disgruntled about their position that every time something goes bad for Russ, they just find a way to feed the beast.
"Telling him the coaches hate you or the front office is trying to get rid of you. Anything to fuel that monster, and give him an enemy."
This is a very bad look for the Lakers. They didn't have a good season, but it seemed like they were ready to go to war for each other. Unfortunately, things never clicked for them and now it's time to finish this season and start working on the next one if they want to turn things around.
It's unclear if Russell will be part of that team, as many reports suggest he could be traded or bought out. Time will tell how the situation will play out and if Westbrook can put an end to this horrible campaign.