Russell Westbrook was in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night, days after leaving the preseason finale against the Sacramento Kings on Friday with a strained hamstring — which, notably, was the first game of his Lakers tenure in which the team asked him to run with the reserves.

After Tuesday's lopsided loss to the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook blamed his recent injury on the physical tolls of coming off the bench. For Lakers fans — and perhaps employees — paying close attention, Westbrook's comments may have triggered déjà vu. Last season, Westbrook similarly blamed a back flare-up — which caused him to suspiciously sit out the final game before the trade deadline — on being benched in crunchtime by Frank Vogel.

Here were Westbrook's remarks following the Lakers' sixth straight opening night loss — a 123-109 drubbing by the Warriors — when asked by Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times if playing a different role messed up his routine and contributed to the hammy strain

“Absolutely. I've been doing the same thing for 14 years straight. Honestly, I didn't even know what to do pregame. Being honest, I was trying to figure out how to try to stay warm and loose. And for me, like, the way I play the game — fast-paced, quick, stop-and-go — and when I subbed in, I felt something … definitely wasn't warm enough. And that's something I wasn't accustomed to.”

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Westbrook's pregame routines have been a focus of conversation over the past week. In last Wednesday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Westbrook did not join the Lakers for two huddles — one pregame, one mid-game — leading to viral videos speculating on the team's chemistry. Westbrook chalked up the first instance of isolation as his normal pregame routine, and the second as him being distracted by a conversation with the coaches.

48 hours later, Ham announced that Westbrook would come off the bench in the preseason finale.

Ultimately, Westbrook got the start against the Warriors. He posted 19 points (7-12 FG), 11 rebounds, three assists, and four turnovers in 31 minutes. Make of all of that what you will.