Report: Rob Pelinka met with Russell Westbrook for nearly 2 hours after critical benching - Lakers Daily

Report: Rob Pelinka met with Russell Westbrook for nearly 2 hours after critical benching

Russell Westbrook Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel recently made a major splash when he elected to bench former MVP Russell Westbrook in the final minutes of a close game.

Despite the move, the Lakers lost the game to the Indiana Pacers by a 111-104 score. On top of that, the decision to bench Westbrook was a huge story next day in the basketball world. Because it was such a big decision, it sounds like Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka knew that clearing the air with Westbrook was very important.

According to a report, Pelinka sat down with Westbrook for nearly two hours to talk things over.

“After Westbrook was benched, Pelinka knew the situation was at a critical juncture, so he met with Westbrook for nearly two hours when the team landed in Orlando on Thursday, according to team sources,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported.

Pelinka’s decision to meet with Westbrook makes a lot of sense. Westbrook is a passionate and proud player. If the air had not been cleared, it’s quite possible that the situation could have become a major distraction for the Lakers.

Fortunately, when Westbrook broke his silence about being benched, he took a team-first approach. He’s seemingly remained positive and engaged since then as well.

Still, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in L.A. The Lakers continue to struggle this season and Westbrook has yet to seem comfortable in his new home. So far this season, the Lakers are 23-24. They’re hanging onto the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference by a thread.

As for Westbrook, he’s averaging 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game so far this season. He’s shooting 43.7 percent from the field and just 29.6 percent from deep.