Paul George defends Russell Westbrook amid viral videos of guard being stubborn and ignoring Lakers teammates

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook drew a lot of criticism on Twitter for failing to join a Lakers huddle in their preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Westbrook also appeared to ignore guard Patrick Beverley during the game when he tried to get him together with the rest of the team.

Westbrook defended himself on Thursday, explaining that both videos were cut in a way that didn’t tell the full story of what was happening on the floor.

“I’ve been doing thesame ritual since I’ve been in the league,” Westbrook told reporters during post-practice media availability on Thursday. “I’m sure you guys can probably attest to that. As for the other video, I was actually talking to the coaches, and they cut that video out as well. I was talking to the coaches about a missed coverage.

“I don’t pay no mind to it, man. It’s honestly – I’m just trying to compete and do my job.”

A former teammate of Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George, also came to the defense of the Lakers guard on Twitter.

Westbrook and George spent time together on the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Westbrook helped George have one of the best seasons of his career in the 2018-19 season. George averaged a career high in points per game (28.0) and rebounds per game (8.2) that season.

It’s no surprise that the videos of Westbrook blew up, as the Lakers guard has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason.

With Los Angeles also bringing in guards like Beverley, Dennis Schroder and Lonnie Walker IV, it’s possible that Westbrook could have a smaller role than he did last season.

Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star, finished the 2021-22 season averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.

There’s no doubt that the Lakers would like him to play better in the 2022-23 season, especially since they are hoping to get back to the playoffs after missing it last season.

Lakers fans have to be relieved that Westbrook isn’t letting the social media videos get to his head as he tries to make his mark on this year’s team.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.