Report: Lakers debated pulling Russell Westbrook at end of game for weeks but worried about damaging his mental health - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers debated pulling Russell Westbrook at end of game for weeks but worried about damaging his mental health

Russell Westbrook Lakers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook was benched late in the Los Angeles Lakers’ game vs. the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

Based on a recent report, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was given “assurances” by the team’s brass that he could deal with Westbrook harshly. It appears the team had been debating taking Westbrook out of late-game situations for quite some time.

According to the report, the primary reason it took so long for the team to take this approach was because of its concerns about how the move would affect Westbrook’s “psyche.”

“The coaching staff had been debating whether to pull Westbrook from late-game situations for weeks, sources said, but always refrained because of worries about the lasting impact on Westbrook’s psyche,” Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported.

When the Lakers traded for the former MVP this past offseason, fans and experts alike expressed concern regarding his potential fit with stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Thus far, those concerns have not been extinguished. Though Westbrook is averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, he has never really looked comfortable on the court with the Lakers.

To make matters worse, the Lakers have enjoyed variable success so far and are barely clinging on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Right now, they hold a 22-23 record on the campaign.

According to a recent report, the Lakers are looking to get busy prior to the upcoming trade deadline. Adding some formidable talent could help the Lakers get out of the rut they have been stuck in for most of the season. Still, if the team wants to win a title this season, Westbrook is going to have to turn things around.

Right now, the Lakers are not considered a serious threat to come out of the West.