Now that the Los Angeles Lakers’ disappointing season is over, they have sacked coach Frank Vogel with a year left on his contract, and Russell Westbrook has spoken out about the problems that plagued him throughout the season.
After gaining in the off-season and adding to the rumor that the Lakers have the potential to win, Westbrook never fully fit in with his new team.
“I think it hurts, to be honest, because I have never had a problem with any of my coaches before,” Westbrook told a news conference on Monday. “I’m not sure he had a problem with me, or I’m not sure why, but I really can’t tell you why we never really got in touch.”
Westbrook’s 18.5 points per game was the lowest in his career since 2009-10, when he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 16.1. While 33-year-old Westbrook had to change his game a bit with age, his style was to pick up the ball, increase the pace of the field, being in an aggressive transition phase during the attack.
“When I first came here, the ability to do what I could do for the team was not given a fair chance,” he said.
Westbrook then targeted Los Angeles stars LeBron James and Anthony Dice, who were the cornerstones of the team because he thought they were a double support for his game. Westbrook, referring to the phrase “let Russ be Russ” this season, said that “both James and Dice have expressed that idea, he does not think they mean it.”
“Yes,” Westbrook said when asked about James D. Dice, who said it was his defense. “But it was not right.
“It’s a combination of where we are on the floor, positioning, fitness փորձ challenge, trial և wrong, being able to play on the floor with each other,” Westbrook continued. “To find ways to make the most of our potential. It’s so simple. “
Westbrook, nine times the most expensive բոլոր all-star և 2016-17 NBA player, was the Lakers’ highest paid player this season, according to spotrac.com, earning $ 44.2 million. He said that the stories about him in the media helped create a story about him that was not true, made his time in Los Angeles even more difficult.
“The famous ‘source’ stories that came out about me, be it my ‘staff, my’ Frank, my ‘fans’, are just very fabricated stories that do not correspond to reality,” Westbrook said. “It simply came to our notice then. There is simply no fair opportunity. It’s like. “Well, now I have to fight this fabricated story. Now I have to fight this one. Now I’m going to fight this one… »
Westbrook declined to comment.
Westbrook, according to ESPN, has a $ 47 million player version for next season. Westbrook did not say on Monday whether he had decided what to do.
In addition to his low goal tally this season, Westbrook had 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. While those numbers are still strong, they are a significant drop from the previous season, where he averaged triple-doubles, averaging 22.2 points per game, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists per game.
“It’s my game in general, not the best season, I’re just going beyond my personal scale,” he said. “Obviously I go out with a triple-double on average, so no less than that will not be a good season for me, you know what I mean. That’s why the scale is where it comes from. a little different. “
The Lakers dropped out of the playoffs last Tuesday after losing to the Phoenix Suns, a team that knocked them out of the first round of the NBA playoffs last year. Los Angeles finished 11th in the Western Conference 33-49.
“I mean, obviously there will be a lot of different changes depending on who the coach is, how we play, how we play,” Westbrook said of next season’s game against the Lakers. “So that kind of hangs in the air. “But when that decision is made, we will somehow get out of there.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. Lakers Russell Westbrook expresses his dissatisfaction after a disastrous season.