Report: Russell Westbrook still wants to win 6MOTY award for coming off bench with Lakers

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

After a very dismal first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell Westbrook was moved to the bench early this season, and for a while, he played so well that he was a frontrunner for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

But since the Lakers traded him to the Utah Jazz, which led to him being bought out and joining the Los Angeles Clippers, Westbrook has become a starter again, yet he still thinks he deserves the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

When Westbrook first came to the Lakers two summers ago, many felt he would re-energize the team after it lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns amidst serious injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

But he never fit in, and after a few months, it became clear that his athleticism had declined to the point where it made his flaws more glaring.

Westbrook is still able to help his team at times by speeding up the pace of the game, attacking the basket and getting teammates easy shots. However, he is a frightful perimeter shooter, and he is turnover-prone, especially at key junctures of games.

New head coach Darvin Ham moved him to the bench early this season, and for a while, he looked to be a positive asset for the team, as he often sparked it upon entering a game.

But after a few weeks, his shooting efficiency regressed to the mean, and the novelty of Westbrook’s new role wore off.

To make matters worse, reports surfaced that in his final days with the Lakers, he had become somewhat uncoachable. They did very well in trading him, as they acquired former All-Star D’Angelo Russell, defensive stalwart Jarred Vanderbilt and 3-point sniper Malik Beasley for Westbrook, a lottery-protected 2027 first-round draft pick and little-used players Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones.

Since signing Westbrook off the buyout market, the Clippers are 0-4 and have blown multiple leads.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.