Russell Westbrook breaks silence on 4th-quarter benching during Lakers-Pacers game

Justin Benjamin
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Russell Westbrook finally revealed his thoughts on getting benched during the final minutes of the team’s 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

The 2017 MVP told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski he was astonished by the benching and did not agree with it, though he remains committed to the team.

“Surprised, yes,” Westbrook said. “I was disappointed I didn’t go back in, but I’m more disappointed that we lost the damn game.”

“I want to be able to be on the floor to help my teammates and be able to help our team win in games like that — but that was a decision that was made.”

Westbrook, 33, collected 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the field and gathered three assists and two rebounds.

The Lakers’ management granted Vogel permission and assurances to be harsh with coaching Westbrook. The team reportedly had been thinking about benching him in late-game situations for a while.

While the the guard did not talk with the media following the dramatic situation on Wednesday, he told Wojnarowski he is eager to aid the Lakers in winning a championship.

“Ultimately, you have to be OK when s— doesn’t go well and I’m OK,” Westbrook told ESPN. “I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me here, and I’ll continue to do so and ride this out as long as we can toward our ultimate goal — and that’s to win a championship.”

The Lakers haven’t played anywhere close to championship basketball. In fact, they’re barely holding onto playoff hopes, as they are currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

On the season, Westbrook is averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

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Justin’s enormous respect for LeBron James has ignited him to write for the King and Lakers. His all-around analysis and heart for the game has made him a stellar NBA writer and proud staff writer for Lakers Daily.