Russell Westbrook may be playing nice in public, but it's starting to get pretty clear that his heart isn't with the Lakers, not anymore.
Weeks after the start of NBA free agency, Russ has been thrown into countless trade rumors -- and most of them have him going to the Nets in some kind of deal involving Kyrie Irving.
Nobody knows when, or even if, such a trade will actually happen, but Russ and his camp have apparently been "begging" Nets GM Sean Marks to free him from the Purple and Gold.
(via Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson)
“Russell Westbrook had his former agent Thad Foucher begging Sean Marks directly everyday to come to Brooklyn.”
Russ' debut season in Los Angeles was a complete disaster. He was a bad fit from the jump and failed to adjust his game for the team. With hate and criticism coming at him from all directions, he grew resentful towards the organization and, apparently, was asking Sean Marks to be his lifeline out of there.
For now, a deal does not appear imminent, and Westbrook is forced to consider the possibility that he might be back in the Purple and Gold next season.
Despite everything, some still have hope he can have a bounce-back year -- like new coach Darvin Ham, who said the following about Westbrook:
“I’m thrilled to coach Rus," Ham said. "They try to dump on Russ, I’m like that was one of the things that got me excited about this job. He and I have had a great rapport since I’ve taken over the job, man. Just text messages, phone calls, dinners. I locked in, I cornered his ass outside the elevator over at the Encore. He and I had a great conversation then. We all know what comes along with this businessman. People throwing your name in trade rumors. I’ve been in the league since 96, man I don’t know anybody that’s been on any team that hasn’t had their name thrown in a trade rumor or been traded. As a coach, they’ll be saying they ready to fire me, the media be saying they ready to fire me in a year, year and a half. Well, you can’t help but hear the noise sometimes. You just got to stay solid, do what you do and you’ll win in the end every time. I witnessed it with him.”
No matter how much longer Westbrook remains a Laker, this whole ordeal is going to leave a permanent stain on his legacy. On the court and off the court, he has been a huge liability, and his stock is at an all-time low.
It might actually be in his best interest to get out of town and start fresh with a clean slate... then again, we said the same exact thing when Westbrook first arrived in Los Angeles a year ago.