‘From what I’m hearing, [Russell Westbrook] practically wants to be gone’: Stephen A. Smith on Lakers point guard’s future

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling out of the gate to start the new NBA season, and once again, much attention has been focused on Russell Westbrook.

He has played poorly in his last two games, and fans have once again been at their wits’ end when it comes to his play.

Dating back to last season, many have wanted him traded, and now, according to ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, Westbrook himself wants to leave the Lakers.

There was a faint hope before this season began that perhaps he would tweak his game just enough to at least not be a negative presence on the court. But reality has set in very quickly when it comes to just how bad a fit he is for L.A.

He missed all 11 of his field-goal attempts on Thursday versus the Los Angeles Clippers, and he went just 4-of-15 against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

One possible explanation could be that he has lost his confidence. Westbrook has always been a player who has thrived off positive energy and vibes, and those have been absent for most of his tenure with the Lakers.

The team will take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening in Colorado, and Westbrook will not play due to a hamstring ailment. Austin Reaves will take his spot in the starting lineup.

If there were ever a time the Lakers were in a must-win situation this early in a season, it is now. There is no doubt fans will feel better about the team’s chances of notching a victory with Westbrook out.

Still, it is myopic to blame him for all the team’s woes. L.A. has been as cold as a winter day in Siberia from 3-point range, and it has a lack of two-way wings, particularly wings with length and size.

It remains to be seen if Westbrook will only be out temporarily, or if this could be the beginning of a bigger development.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.