Lakers star Russell Westbrook slapped with harsh Darvin Ham reality check by Brian Windhorst
At this point in the offseason, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a big possibility that Russell Westbrook ends up staying with the Los Angeles Lakers beyond this summer. It’s no secret that LA has been trying to trade the former league MVP after a tumultuous first season with the team, but the harsh reality is that there isn’t much interest in the market for Russ.
ESPN’s NBA guru Brian Windhorst has chimed in on the Lakers’ Westbrook dilemma. The renowned broadcaster pointed out that new head coach Darvin Ham already has a role in mind for Russ this coming season. In this respect, Windhorst strongly feels that Westbrook should just sit out the season if he refuses to buy into Ham’s new system (h/t Eric Eulau of the SunHerald):
“They’re better off with him at home if he’s not going to try to play the role that Darvin Ham is saying what’s available to him,” Windhorst said on a recent episode of his podcast.
That’s harsh. Then again, you can’t say that Windy is completely wrong here. Westbrook’s rather unsavory relationship with ex-Lakers coach Frank Vogel is well-documented, and the last thing LA wants is a repeat of this same dynamic this season with a new shot-caller sitting at the helm.
Despite being a first-year coach in the league, Darvin Ham has earned the respect of his peers and the players. He’s a tough-minded coach and he isn’t the type who’s going to take nonsense from anyone — not even if you’re Russell Westbrook.