It’s easy only to blame Russell Westbrook.
After all, his addition to the Los Angeles Lakers this season has been an outright disaster.
It’s fair to say that Westbrook can’t shoot. And since the start of the new year, it’s also fair to add to his reconnaissance report that he currently can’t make it to the wide side of the fold.
It’s really no surprise that Westbrook doesn’t fit in LA
Quite frankly, most NBA analysts and radio sports talk show hosts expected this as a first guess rather than a second guess.
However, the biggest blame lies with LeBron James. It’s Dr. Frankenstein. He created this deranged monster called the Lakers this season.
Despite wearing shorts and dribbling with basketball, James is the de facto general manager of the Lakers. Don’t make a mistake about it. Rob Pelinka can be called Pinocchio if you can see the strings that LeBron is pulling.
This dream team is just what LeBron wanted. He recruited Westbrook. He recalled the video posted on social media with James and Anthony Davis in a state of dazzling success for the ages, convincing Westbrook that it would.
James wanted his own big three, just like the Brooklyn Nets with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. James thought if he wanted another NBA title, he would have to be on par with this three-headed beast.
But the way the Lakers are currently grouped, they have no chance of winning the championship.
Truth be told, there was better compatibility at the Lakers table six months ago. They would have traded with a Buddy Heald guard at the Sacramento Kings. It was perfectly fit. He can shoot from the ocean and doesn’t need the ball in his hands like Westbrook does. This was not to clash with LeBron. Hield would have been exactly what the doctor ordered.
Kings spoke to the Lakers about Hield’s handling of Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell. Rather than pull the trigger on it, the Lakers chose to pack these two players, plus Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and future picks, to the Washington Wizards versus Westbrook.
There can only be one reason Heald has not finished with the Lakers. He wasn’t a big enough name, he wasn’t starry enough to play in L.A.
After all, Los Angeles is a star-driven place for its teams — the Mookie Betts came to the Dodgers, and Odell Beckham Jr. To the Rams and AD was a great starting point when he joined the Lakers. And of course there is LeBron.
But the arrival of Westbrook to play for his hometown team was a huge failure.
Essentially halfway into the season, the Lakers (21-21) were just a mediocre group in the Western Conference. By Friday, they were the seventh seeded team in the conference.
Anthony Davis must have been pretty badly injured. The team will be better if he plays.
However, you would expect a team with James, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to be a lot better than they used to be. They get beat too – sometimes – but not any good teams most of the time. This is not a good look.
Lakers really train wreck. And it’s hard to watch Westbrook and not look away.
In the last four games, Westbrook’s shot has gone off the rails, and now it’s a sad 25.4% of the field (15 to 59). In Wednesday’s clunker, losing to the Kings, Westbrook fired 2-for-14 from the field, including 0-for-5 from three-point ground.
Westbrook was a bad idea from Jump Street.
An anonymous NBA executive said this of Westbrook, “He was never a very skilled player, he made it through playing weird sports…but as you get older and you’re not as weird as you used to be, then you have to rely on skill, and now It is revealed.”
Immediately. Plus, Westbrook doesn’t really fit anywhere.
She did not succeed in OKC with Durant and Harden. It didn’t work out with Harden in Houston. She did not succeed in DC with Bradley Beal.
Now on the huge stage, all the members of the NBA are watching.
Sure, it’s hard to blame LeBron for the bricks that Westbrook is currently shooting for.
But don’t make it crooked. LeBron is to blame for thinking he can make Westbrook work in Los Angeles
It didn’t happen in July on paper when the trade was made and it doesn’t happen now, half a season later.
Lakers fans can thank LeBron for that.