NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne talks about members on the Lakers roaster intentionally provoking Russell Westbrook to bring out the best in him.
Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook had one of the if not the most scrutinizing seasons of his career. The former MVP proved to be a complete misfit on the roster, leading to him being more of a liability than an asset for the purple and gold.
Westbrook’s inability to shoot, coupled with his turnovers, put him at the receiving of endless criticism and trolling. The superstar’s confidence seemed to have dipped evidently with the situation becoming uglier day by day.
Nonetheless, Brodie would show up every day to work, demonstrating his noteworthy hustle mentality. Westbrook had the backing of his teammates, who did everything possible to fuel the nine-time All-Star.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Lakers players would intentionally rile up Westbrook to bring out the beast in him and fuel his inner monster.
The Lakers roster tried all tricks in the book to help Russell Westbrook overcome his slump.
An all-time leader in triple-doubles, Westbrook’s legacy took a massive hit with his performances this season. Lakers Nation wanted the front office to get rid of him as soon as possible. However, Rob Pelinka and co had no worthwhile deal on the table.
According to Shelburne, the Lakers teammates tried their best to motivate Westbrook, resorting to insults and instigations. Unfortunately, it took a while.
“There’s also guys in the locker room who were so disgruntled about their position that every time something goes bad for Russ, they just find a way to feed the beast,” a team source told Shelburne.
“Telling him the coaches hate you or the front office is trying to get rid of you. Anything to fuel that monster, and give him an enemy.”
Nonetheless, Brodie has been on an impressive lately, averaging 22.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 7.1 APG. The nine-time All-Star is shooting above 50% from the field and 41.5% from the 3-point line. Sadly, it’s too late with the Lakers being down eighteen games below +500.
Recently, Westbrook stated that he would like to run it back with the Lakers and start fresh. No matter how much he’s criticized, one can never question Brodie’s will towards the game of basketball.