The first half of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season has been rough for the most part as they go into the All-Star break in ninth place in the Western Conference at 27-31
Part of the reason for the Lakers’ struggles is that the Russell Westbrook experiment has not gone as planned with the star struggling to fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis
During a recent loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Westbrook’s poor play continued to the point where it reached a mental level.
Amid it all, fans openly booed the once-beloved L.A. star. Fans booing their own player could be a psyche-destroyer for a number of reasons, but Westbrook has a different view. “It’s a sign of respect,” Westbrook said. “My mindset and how I think about this game and what I’m able to do for this game is not predicated on boos.”
“I have a platform that I’m able to use to be able to do other things God has blessed me with to be able to do and I will continue to do those things regardless if people boo for me, cheer for me, cuss me out, call me names. It doesn’t really matter.
“The most important part is I continue to use my gift to be able to play basketball and use that platform to be able to help other people around the world and that’s all I can do and that’s it.”
Westbrook also spoke about what the boos from fans mean for him personally, away from basketball. “As it pertains to the team, the team is not getting booed. You asked about for me. That’s all I can respond is for myself and what I’m able to mentally stay in the right place. Enjoy being home, enjoy having the opportunity to see my kids and take them to school every morning. See my family. My mom and dad and my close friends every day. I don’t take that part for granted.
“Basketball is a short time in your life and I enjoy it and have fun and want to compete at the highest level, but also, it’s not the end all be all and there’s something bigger than basketball that we can do as people and I understand that. So that’s why I’m comfortable with whatever comes. Cheers, boos. It doesn’t really matter.”
Now, the question becomes how can the Lakers recover from this moment. Westbrook’s play has improved since his rough stretch in January and Feburary, but it remains to be seen if L.A. can salvage this season after the All-Star break.
Westbrook focused on being a leader
After the Lakers’ recent win over the Utah Jazz, Westbrook emphasized the importance of being a leader on the bench during games to help his teammates remain positive.
While Westbrook’s play may be inconsistent, the one thing he can control is his attitude so it is good to see that he recognizes that.
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