Report: Russell Westbrook has been in a ‘dark corner’ and ‘doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe’

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

It has been a rough first season in Los Angeles for Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook.

The former MVP has struggled to fit in alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and he reportedly “doesn’t know who to trust.” According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Westbrook has been in a “dark corner.”

“The reality of the season was that Russ has been in a dark corner, and he doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe,” a team source told Shelburne. “Then, if something doesn’t go well for him, he backs up a little more.”

This season, Westbrook is averaging just 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.

To put his numbers into perspective, one would have to look at Westbrook’s whole career. The 18.5 points per game is his lowest average since his second season in the NBA.

The 2021-22 season is also just the second time in the last seven seasons that Westbrook has averaged fewer than 10.3 assists per game.

Westbrook and the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week. L.A. currently sits at 31-49 on the season, and it could end up with more than 50 losses. Obviously, things haven’t gone as planned.

The season-long struggles for the veteran guard have led to the team reportedly considering waiving him via a waive-and-stretch provision. While that would keep part of Westbrook’s salary on the books for the next three seasons, it would give the Lakers more financial flexibility this coming offseason.

It’s definitely hard to envision the partnership between Westbrook and the Lakers getting salvaged. With the 2021-22 regular season coming to a close, only time will tell what ends up happening.

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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.