Thanks to an amazing second-half comeback, the Los Angeles Lakers registered a victory against the New York Knicks. The heroes of the night were LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Malik Monk.
Many might wonder why Russell Westbrook's name is missing from the list? Well, when the fixture was in its most crucial phase, head coach Frank Vogel benched Brodie.
It is the second time this season that Russ has been benched during a vital period in a game. Upon being asked about his decision to bench Westbrook, Frank Vogel seemingly defended his decision. He said that the response from this decision should be for the player to get better.
In a sensational 21-point comeback, Westbrook's contribution was non-existent as he not only shot just 1-of-10 from the field but missed two crucial free throws as well. So, looking at his performance, it was an understandable decision from the coach's end.
But what about Russell Westbrook? What does he think about it? Well, he was asked just that in the postgame conference. Russ said:
I mean, it happens man. You know? Missed some shots that I normally make. But like I said, I don’t want to keep making it about me. When I play bad you guys ask me a s**t ton of questions, and then when I shoot the ball really well, I don’t really hard too many of those questions. So I don’t want to keep making it about me and what I’m doing. Like, we won the game tonight and that’s the most important part. As far as basketball, there’s going to be off nights."
Brodie continued, "Everybody has off nights. I have some. Other people may have some. That’s part of the game. That’s basketball. But I don’t care about anything as long as we won. Winning is the most important part of this game and that’s the most important thing to me, regardless of if I play well or shoot bad. If I play well and we lose, it doesn’t really matter. We lost the game. But if we win, that’s the most important part to me.”
(starts at 3:15)
Russ made it absolutely clear that what matters to him the most is the fact that his team won the game. Regardless of how he plays, if the Lakers can win the game and reach the playoffs, fans won't mind that much.
But at the same time, the cost that the franchise paid to land the former MVP is currently not being justified. Let's hope he can find his rhythm before the start of the postseason.