Despite being brought in to help the Los Angeles Lakers compete for an NBA Championship, Russell Westbrook has had a seemingly negative impact on the franchise. So much so that he has been deemed as arguably the biggest flaw in the Lakers' roster this year.
Moreover, against the Lakers' loss against the Indiana Pacers, Westbrook was benched by head coach Frank Vogel. Vogel later revealed that he did it believing it was the best decision to win the game.
Following that decision, Brodie didn't even address the media that day. But later on, he cleared the air about it. Westbrook said that he was a bit surprised but OK with the decision.
Well, if Russ says so, there should be no reason to doubt his statement, right? Well, that's not what renowned NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith believes. In a recent episode of ESPN's "Get Up," Smith revealed that he thinks Russell Westbrook was lying about being OK when he was benched by Vogel.
"First of all, mad respect for Russell Westbrook, who never cheats the game. He always gives a 100% effort even though everyone wants to point to that play where he let Caris LeVert go to his right which was a boneheaded play. The bottom line is, I didn't see a lack of effort. He just made a mistake in how he defended the kid.
"Having said all of that, Russell Westbrook is lying. Oh, yes, make no mistake about it. He's lost enough games in a Lakers uniform to be less bothered by the loss than he is by the fact that he was benched. Russell Westbrook doesn't get benched.
"He can sit up there and say all he wants to, that the loss bothered him. But the fact that this perennial All-Star, this future Hall of Famer, this walking triple-double was sat down in favor of the likes of an Austin Reaves, a Malik Monk, Stanley Johnson, people like that, please.
"Russell Westbrook has to get back to what he was when I believe it was the month of February in 2020 where he was player of the month, where he was playing like a monster attacking the basket. Forget about what you can't do, show the world what you can do. Remind everybody of who the hell you are. You're Russell freaking Westbrook. Attack the basket with vigor. Make them deal with you."
Smith pointed out the perfect advice for Westbrook. He needs to get back to attacking the basket with full force. After all, he made a name for himself by doing just that in his prime years.
Everyone is aware that Brodie is not a great shooter, but he is a phenomenal scorer when he puts his head to it. So the way he played against the Magic in the Lakers' recent win needs to be how he plays every game from this point onwards.