Jeanie Buss is doing some walking back.
While speaking with with The Athletic for a recent interview, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss claimed Russell Westbrook was the team’s “best player” last season. That statement is clearly not true, and one no would agree with. Someone must have gotten in her ear about it, because Buss quickly walked back those comments about Russell being the Lakers best player.
Here’s what Buss said about Westbrook:
“All I can say is that, from my point of view, (Westbrook) was our best player last year. He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard. You know, I would have loved to have seen what this team would have looked like if they stayed healthy. It’s really tough to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the court. LeBron was hurt a lot of the season. But Russ showed up every game and played hard every night. And, you know, I just really appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the team.”
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reached out to Buss to follow up on her praise of Westbrook. She quickly walked back her initial comments:
Yes, as you might imagine, I did a double take when Jeanie shared her viewpoint that Westbrook was the best the Lakers had to offer last season. By most accounts — yours truly included — his debut season with the Lakers was an unmitigated disaster.
So after the interview ended, when I realized that I’d failed to follow up quickly enough to get total clarity on this stunning take, I decided to send Buss a note asking if this was her actual belief.
The word I should have used was ‘consistent,’” she wrote via text message. “He played 78 games last season.”
Westbrook was consistent, but not in a good way. Yes it’s true he played more games than LeBron and Anthony Davis, but that doesn’t mean you’re the best player. Plus we know Russell had a terrible season by his standards.
You don’t see players of his caliber miss shots like he does, it just doesn’t compute.
Correct walk back by Jeanie.
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