Russell Westbrook’s homecoming with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go as well as he or anyone had hoped in the 2021-22 season.
Westbrook was brought in after a blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards in order to get the Lakers back into championship contention.
The thought was that he would take some ballhandling duties away from LeBron James to help keep him fresh while also helping keep the Lakers above water if James and Anthony Davis missed time due to injury.
Ultimately, that never came to fruition as Westbrook was unable to fit with the Lakers’ other two stars and could not elevate his play while they were out, resulting in the Lakers missing the playoffs altogether in arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
Being from L.A., Westbrook was hoping that his hometown fanbase would embrace him and his family. Pretty much the opposite happened though as Westbrook was often showered with boos at home games, resulting in him expressing disappointment with the fanbase at the conclusion of the season.
Now, Westbrook must decide if he wants to pick up his $47 million player option for the 2022-23 season. While all expectations are that he will, that doesn’t mean he will be playing for the Lakers as his name has already been in trade rumors with there being reported mutual interest in the two sides going their separate ways.
Westbrook made that apparent this week by deleting everything Lakers related from his Instagram page. He then went on to delete all of his posts altogether, only posting a message from the late great L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle along with Westbrook in a Lakers jersey:
Nipsey Hussle and Westbrook were known to be close friends, and the essence of the message in the Instagram post is that he will continue to be himself no matter what expectations are put on him or what disrespect is thrown his way.
It’s reasonable to think that Westbrook posted this due to the fan reception he got this season, which continued on social media after its conclusion.
While Westbrook’s future remains up in the year, it’s becoming clearer each day that he will be not suiting up for the Lakers when the 2022-23 season rolls around.
Lakers front office continuing to place blame on James, Klutch Sports for Westbrook trade
As far as who is responsible for trading for Westbrook in the first place, the Lakers’ front office is continuing to do everything it can to shift blame towards James and Klutch Sports for advocating for the move.
The past is the past though, so their focus should be on what can be done this summer to get the Lakers back into championship contention.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!