Russell Westbrook appears to be recovering his best form, although it's a little late for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are 11 games below the .500 mark. The Purple and Gold could miss the 2022 NBA playoffs if they don't get things together in the next couple of games, but seeing Russ' resurgence, there's hope that this squad can show they can compete this season.
Even if they win the rest of the games in the calendar, the Lakers will take part in the play-in tournament to secure their spot in the postseason. To do so, they'll need Russ at the best level, and it's good to see that the player is getting there.
However, not everybody is celebrating that Westbrook is playing at a high level right now. Shannon Sharpe has become one of Russ' biggest detractors this season, calling him out whenever he's had the chance. More recently, the former NFL player-turned-analyst blasted the 2017 NBA MVP for not acknowledging his poor level this campaign (5:45).
"Professional athletes are supposed to play well. I provide for my family, you're supposed to provide for your family, you don't get no cookies, no star for providing for your family, that's what you're supposed to do. Oh, I play well, you're supposed to play well Russ, it's that you play so bad and you won't accept it, you won't even acknowledge that you're playing bad."
He compared Westbrook to those men that try very hard to hide their real age, saying they are in their 20s when it's obvious they are 60-year-old.
"Russ is the guy, 'he's the older guy that looks in the mirror and all he sees is a younger himself'. Like, you know, your boy is still 28 got it going on, naah dude, you're 62."
Sharpe has made a lot of comments about Westbrook this campaign. The analyst hasn't missed a chance to blast Brodie and even if he's picking up his level, Shannon isn't having any of that. Like Kevin Garnett recently stated, the playoffs will be a big chance for Russ to change the narrative around him. That will be hard seeing the rivals the Lakers could face in a deep playoff run, but some people in Lakers Nation are still confident they can get the job done.