Report: Lakers guard Russell Westbrook ‘never respected’ head coach Frank Vogel

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers’ season will come to an anticlimactic end on Sunday night when the team plays its final regular season game against the Denver Nuggets.

Though fans and experts alike expected the Lakers to challenge for a title this season, L.A. was not even able to secure a playoff spot.

While there is still one game left on the schedule for the team, an autopsy is already seemingly underway on what has been one of the most disappointing seasons for any team in recent NBA history. One recent report offers insight into apparent trouble that brewed between Russell Westbrook and Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.

“Russ never respected Frank from Day 1,” one Lakers staff member with knowledge of the situation told Dan Woike and Broderick Tuner of the Los Angeles Times. “The moment Frank said anybody who gets the rebound can bring it up the court, which is just how the NBA is played these days, Russ was like, ‘Naw, I’m the point guard. Give the ball to me. Everybody run. Frank was like, ‘No, we have Talen [Horton-Tucker] We have Austin [Reaves]. We have Malik [Monk]. We have LeBron [James]. We have AD (Anthony Davis). They can all bring the ball up.’ He was like, ‘Nope, I’m the point guard. Give me that s—. Everybody get out the way.’

“From that point on, in training camp, it was a wrap, ‘cause now Russ is a fish out of water. He doesn’t know what to do. That’s how that started.”

It’s a pretty shocking revelation, and it reflects poorly on both Westbrook and Vogel.

For Westbrook, it seems to confirm many of the worst assumptions about him as a player. Some feel that he’s a selfish teammate who cares more about the perception that he is the leader of his team rather than enjoying actual success on the floor.

For Vogel, it brings his leadership qualities into question since he seemingly struggled with Westbrook’s mentality from the jump.

The reality is that many Lakers fans want both Vogel and Westbrook gone in the very near future. Vogel’s departure seems assured, as many rumors have already detailed that his time with the Lakers will likely come to an end soon.

As for Westbrook, the team figuring out a way to get rid of him may be easier said than done.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.