Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks up about his feud with Frank Vogel and his poor season

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Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks up about his feud with Frank Vogel and his poor season

THE CITY OF EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA — Following the firing of Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel earlier in the day, Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook spoke out about the distance between the two of them during his first season in L.A.

“I think it’s awful, to be honest,” Westbrook said following his departure interview with the Lakers’ front office on Monday. “I’ve never had an issue with any of my coaches before.” “I’m not sure what his problem with me was or why, but I can’t really offer you an answer as to why we never really bonded.”

Westbrook, who was the Lakers’ highest-paid player during the team’s dreadful 2021-22 season, wasn’t finished with the coach. In his 21-minute news conference, he took aim at various other areas of his Lakers experience that went wrong, explaining how he thought he was victimised.

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

“The capacity to perform what I’m capable of for a team and an organisation wasn’t given a fair shot when I initially arrived here,” he added.

Westbrook went on to say that erroneous press stories had a part in his troubles this season.

“There are just so many made-up stories about myself, whether it’s between me and the staff, me and Frank, me and the fans,” Westbrook added. “It’s simply that you have to continually battle against it. It’s just that it’s not being given a fair go. ‘OK, now I have to battle this made-up tale,’ it’s like. Now I have to deal with this one. Now I’m off to combat this one. Now I have to deal with this one.'”

When pressed to cite one example of a made-up narrative concerning his tenure with the Lakers, he was unable to provide a particular response.

“No,” Westbrook said emphatically. “I’m afraid I can’t. You’re aware of the examples. I’m not going to get into specifics about the tale, who wrote it, or why… it’s worthless. It makes no difference because it isn’t true. It’s not true until it comes from me.”

LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ repeated promises to “let Russ be Russ” in unlocking the finest version of the former All-Star were also false, according to the 2017 league MVP.

“They stated that,” Westbrook confirmed. “However, that was not the case.”

When pressed for more information, Westbrook explained that the problem stemmed from the components’ inability to compliment one another.

“Like any player, we’ll work with him when he makes that choice about his future,” Pelinka said. “Rest assured, we’ll search under every rock for ways to improve and be open to anything that would help us enhance our team and position us to compete at a greater level next year than we did this year.”

Westbrook, who appeared in 78 games and averaged 18.5 points on 44.4 percent shooting (29.8 percent from three), 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game, admitted that his output fell short of his expectations.

“It’s just my performance in general,” he remarked, “not my finest season, just going off my own personal scale.”

Following a defeat to the Phoenix Suns last week that officially eliminated the Lakers from play-in tournament contention, Westbrook stated that “the goal” was for him, James, and Davis to “see what they look like together with the advantage of health” next season. Due to numerous ailments, they only played 21 games together this season, going 11-10.

“All I ask is that we get an opportunity to accomplish something,” he stated.

After airing his frustrations on Monday, Westbrook was asked what would attract him to return to the Lakers, with the new context appearing to contradict his prior statement.

“Obviously, depending on who the coach is and how our style of play and what we play like, there will be a lot of different adjustments,” he remarked. “As a result, the answer to that question is a little hazy. However, once that choice is made, we’ll go from there.

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Mr Nawaz
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