Russell Westbrook claims “made-up stories” contributed to his poor season for the Los Angeles Lakers, because the 2020 NBA champions did not even make the play-in.
The 2017 MVP averaged 18.5 factors on 44.4 per cent capturing, 7.4 rebounds and seven.1 assists because the powerhouse staff’s Big Three of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis did not get on court docket collectively sufficient, serving to the aspect flip right into a dud.
The Lakers completed 33-49 and fired coach Frank Vogel the day after their season ended.
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Westbrook, who has a $US47 million participant choice to stay on the Lakers, mentioned he by no means linked with Vogel.
“I think it’s unfortunate, to be honest, because I’ve never had an issue with any of my coaches before,” Westbrook instructed reporters.
“I’m not sure what his issue was with me or I’m not sure why, but I can’t really give you an answer to why we really never connected.”
The Lakers have seven gamers underneath contract for subsequent season, incomes a mixed $149 million ($A201m), which is $26.9 million ($A36m) over the cap.
It will make their job of fixing what went mistaken this previous season a lot trickier, however Westbrook believes off-court reviews had been partially guilty.
“When I first got here, the ability to be able to do what I’m able to do for a team and an organisation wasn’t given a fair chance,” he mentioned.
“The famous ‘source’ stories that came out about myself, whether it be between me and the staff, me and Frank, me and the fans, there’s just so many made-up stories that are not true.
“It’s just always having to fight against that constantly. It’s just not [being] given a fair chance. It’s like, ‘OK, now I got to fight against this made-up story. Now I got to fight against this one. Now I go to fight against this one. Now I got to fight against this one.’”
But Westbrook was unable to call a single false story.
“No,” Westbrook mentioned. “I can’t. You know the examples. I don’t want to get in details, what story, who wrote it, why … it’s pointless. It really doesn’t matter because it’s not true. If it doesn’t come from me (it’s not true).”
Asked whether or not he’ll train his $US47 million participant choice, Westbrook mentioned: “Umm, I’ll make the decision. That’s why it’s called ‘player option.’”