Russell Westbrook had a horrible first season with the Los Angeles Lakers this term. There's just no other way to put it. In fact, more than a few folks out there believe that it was his poor play that turned out to be one of the biggest factors in LA not even making it to the playoffs this season.
It has now been revealed that Westbrook may have actually been dealing with some sort of mysterious injury throughout the season. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, there was one point in the campaign when the Lakers were under the impression that Russ was nursing an unknown injury that could have led to his poor play:
People on the team and around the league began to wonder if something was wrong with his hands or eyes. It's not often a player makes just 65% of his dunks in a season.
Sources close to Westbrook insist he has had his hands thoroughly checked by a specialist and that the treatment he receives regularly is no different than the regular treatment he does on his ankles and knees.
Westbrook jammed the fingers on his right hand last season in Washington, but he never missed time with the injury. In 2014, he'd broken that hand and had surgery. But that was eight years and six All-Star appearances ago.
That's how bad Westbrook's year was with the Lakers. He was shooting the ball so poorly that the team suspected that there just had to be something wrong with either his eyes or his hands. As the above report mentioned, however, Russ' camp is adamant that there was no injury. Either that or they may have been hiding something. Then again, why would they withhold such a vital piece of information when it could have explained Westbrook's atrocity this past season.
Whatever the case may be, this is now all water under the bridge. The Lakers are down and out this year and are now looking towards the 2022-23 campaign. Westbrook is still expected to be with the team next season primarily because of his untradeable contract. Whether or not the Lakers are happy about this fact may not even be relevant at this point.