Despite a very disappointing performance for Russell Westbrook in his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team’s owner gained a lot of respect for the former league MVP’s efforts last year and even believes he was one of the team’s best players in 2021-2022.
When the Lakers added Westbrook in the summer of 2021 the assumption was that the organization had a three-headed superstar monster — along with Lebron James and Anthony Davis — that made them favorites to win an NBA title. However, as we now know the exact opposite occurred.
Davis missed much of the season with injuries, James had his own health issues, and Westbrook was dubbed “Westbrick” by the Lakers faithful for his performance throughout the season. It was so bad that the team couldn’t even reach the NBA playoffs play-in tournament. However, despite consistent rumblings about the organization attempting to move the nine-time All-Star over the last few months, Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss was a fan of the effort put out by Westbrook during a forgettable year.
Related: Lakers reportedly discussed 3 team trade with New York Knicks involving Russell Westbrook
In a Tuesday conversation with The Athletic to promote a Hulu documentary series about the Los Angeles Lakers’ rich history, Buss explained her belief on why Westbrook was one of the best players the team had last season.
Following the interview, Buss adjusted her original comment by telling the outlet she really meant to say Westbrook was the Lakers’ most “consistent” player last season instead of one of their “best.”
Los Angeles Lakers Jeanie Buss has no concerns about Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley’s locker room dynamic
A new concern — beyond getting the 33-year-old back to his All-Star form — is what the locker room situation will now be like following the acquisition of defensive fire cracker Patrick Beverley. The duo has long had issues and rivalry that have lasted for years. Yet Buss is not concerned about possible locker room problems between the two and believes it’s all an attempt by fans and media to “create something” for interesting storylines.
- Russell Westbrook stats (2021): 18.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.0 SPG