This year hasn’t gone according to plan for Russell Westbrook and the Lakers. And the tough season culminated in the All-Star point guard being benched with four minutes left in the team’s loss to the Pacers on Wednesday.
Obviously, Frank Vogel’s decision to bench a player with Westbrook’s resume raised some eyebrows around the league. And during a discussion with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Russ admitted that he was ‘surprised’ when he was benched during crunch time.
“Surprised, yes,” Westbrook said when asked if he was shocked Vogel took him off the floor in the fourth quarter. “I was disappointed I didn’t go back in, but I’m more disappointed that we lost the damn game.”
Russell Westbrook would add that he just wants to get to a point where he can help his teammates win games going forward.
“I want to be able to be on the floor to help my teammates and be able to help our team win in games like that — but that was a decision that was made,” the said, via ESPN.
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On his fourth-quarter benching, Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook tells ESPN: "Surprised, yes. I was disappointed I didn't go back in, but I'm more disappointed that we lost the damn game." Story: https://t.co/KFD0RSu00G
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2022
When Frank Vogel was asked why he decided to bench Russell Westbrook down the stretch, he kept his answer simple, saying the players on the floor were, “the guys that I thought were going to win the game.”
During the first half of the season, Westbrook is averaging 18.5 points. 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. But he’s turning the ball over at a high clip, and clearly not meshing all too well with LeBron James.
In the end, I think the Lakers will likely be moving off both Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook.