NBA superstar Russell Westbrook has seen and heard it all over his 13-year career.
No matter what he does on the court, or what jersey he is wearing, fans and 'experts' will always try to analyze or criticize his game. Today, his impact on the court is widely debated by the community.
But for Westbrook, he's tired of listening to all the voices and he's done conforming to what others think he should be doing. In a chat with the media, the 9x All-Star spoke candidly about the expectations other have placed on him since arriving in L.A.
"Everybody wants me to do this but then they don't want me to do this," Westbrook said on a video conference call with reporters Monday. "Honestly, I'm over the whole situation with what everyone else wants me to do and what they think I should be doing."
"Honestly, I think I've been fine," Westbrook said. "The conversation has been heavily on how I'm playing and what I'm doing, but I think people are expecting me to have f---ing 25, 15 and 15, which, that is not normal. Everybody has to understand, like, that's not a normal thing that people do consistently."
"People are saying 'let Russ be Russ,' I think nobody understands what that means. I think people just say it -- 'let Russ be Russ' -- but nobody actually knows what that means but myself. And I'm gonna lean on that and make sure I do what I'm supposed to do. And let everything else outside the locker room, whatever that may be, take care of itself."
Of course, nobody can argue that Russ is not among the best point guards in the league. But it is true that his production has taken a noticeable dip this season.
He's averaging 19.8 points per game (his lowest mark since his second year in the league) on shooting 46% from the field, 31.1% from downtown, and a career-worst 65% from the charity stripe. He's also giving up 4.6 turnovers per game, which is the second-worst in the league.
Worst of all, the Lakers have underperformed mightily and currently stand at just 16-18 on the season.
Westbrook is certainly entitled to play the game on his own terms, but nothing will change for him until the Lakers start winning basketball games.