The Los Angeles Lakers’ disastrous 2021-22 season is over, but the drama hasn’t stopped.
One of the biggest storylines during the season for L.A. revolved around Russell Westbrook’s poor fit with the rest of the roster. He wasn’t able to give the Lakers what they needed throughout the season, and given his play style, it probably wasn’t realistic to expect him to.
When the Lakers acquired Westbrook, some people were ready to call them title favorites, but it’s clear now that the move was a mistake. Internally, it sounds like the organization is directing blame at Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents both LeBron James and Anthony Davis, for the role it played in getting Westbrook to L.A.
“But James certainly has a strong influence on the Lakers’ decision-making,” wrote Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “Multiple sources indicate the team’s front office is internally blaming pressure from Klutch Sports Group (representing both James and Davis) for Westbrook.”
The Lakers finished the 2021-22 season with a 33-49 record. They failed to reach the postseason.
Along the way, Westbrook averaged 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.
Injuries played a role in L.A.’s struggles this season, but even when the squad’s top players were healthy, there were still flaws. Throughout the season, it became clear that Westbrook doesn’t belong alongside other high-usage stars.
It’ll be interesting to see where the organization goes from here, as Westbrook’s future is very murky. It remains to be seen if he’ll find himself with the Lakers when the 2022-23 season begins. That’s one of the biggest decisions the team has to make this summer.
It’s going to be a busy offseason for L.A. as it looks to put itself in a position to contend for next season’s NBA title.