The Russell Westbrook-LeBron James experiment this season has gone down like a lead zeppelin, however certainly one of Westbrook’s former co-stars thinks that Mr. Triple-Double is undeservedly getting a foul rap.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal appeared this week on Draymond Inexperienced’s podcast for The Quantity. Beal was teammates with Westbrook in Washington simply final season.
“That s— p-sses me off. I ain’t gone lie, bro,” stated Beal of the criticism that Westbrook has gotten this season. “It actually frustrates me, particularly being a man that performed with him. The disrespect, that s— gotta cease, bro. It’s gotta cease as a result of we performing like this man just isn’t a Corridor of Famer. First poll.
“The best way he performs is probably not your cup of tea,” Beal added. “It is probably not … [But] Russ goes to go play profitable basketball, Russ goes to go get rebounds, Russ goes to make assists, Russ goes to make the most of matchups he seems like he can. That’s Russ. He’s gonna play 100 miles an hour, he’s gonna play exhausting. If that’s not your cup of tea, don’t watch him. It’s been working his entire profession, you’re gonna change him in Yr 14?”
Beal has firsthand expertise having performed with Westbrook, so you need to like his respect for the previous MVP. However the criticism that Westbrook has gotten has not been an assault on his physique of labor within the NBA however fairly on the energetic detriment that he has been to the Lakers this season. Westbrook certainly refuses to vary his sport, and that has harm each his play and his staff’s efficiency, particularly as he loses athleticism and elevate on his jumper.
Many ex-MVPs (together with Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Wizards-era Michael Jordan) appropriately received flak for not adapting their kinds of play within the twilight of their careers, even when they had been all-time greats. There is no such thing as a motive why Westbrook ought to be any totally different, particularly because the Lakers are 31-42 this 12 months whereas Russ posts a few of his worst numbers ever.
The vitriol geared toward Westbrook recently has gotten a bit excessive at instances. However criticizing his atrocious efficiency on the courtroom this season, particularly for a 33-year-old making $44.2 million in wage, ought to be fully truthful sport.