New year, same-old Los Angeles Lakers. The team isn't built to contend, most of the players have been borderline awful, yet Russell Westbrook is the only one getting the blame. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Rob Pelinka got a contract extension despite consecutive years of putting together a team with no real championship aspirations. He should be the one getting pointed out, not their former MVP.
But it's not like Westbrook has done himself any favors, either. He went 0/11 from the field in the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, getting flamed on social media despite playing some solid defense. That's why LeBron James reached out to him to share a piece of advice.
NBA News: LeBron Reaches Out To Westbrook After 0/11 Shooting Night
"Flush it down the toilet and get ready for Sunday," LeBron said. "He's a veteran. We've all had bad shooting nights. Everybody in this league has had bad shooting nights. Who cares? I thought he played a great game defensively. He was locked in. He pushed the tempo. He didn't make any shots, and that's ok. He had five steals, two back-to-back in critical time... he just didn't make any shots. That's fine. Just flush it down the toilet."
Charles Barkley Defends Westbrook, Urges Lakers To Trade Him
The Lakers are wasting another year of LeBron's prime, and have turned Westbrook into the butt of the joke. That's why Charles Barkley urges him to just trade Westbrook, as they've taken the joy away from his game:
"You know how I feel about Russell Westbrook. I admire him, I respect him. It's time for the Lakers to move him," Chuck said. "They've taken all his joy out of life and basketball. It's not about the numbers. First of all, the Lakers stink, we can get that out of the way. Those 2 guys are just out there having fun, AD and LeBron, and getting numbers. We never thought they were going to win this game."
"This guy used to so exuberant, playing with great energy and great emotion," Barkley added. "I think the wear and tear mentally last year, starting this year, playing with Patrick Beverley. The thing is, he's going to get the blame anyway."
In all honesty, it's kind of sad to watch Westbrook go down like this. He's done way too much in this league to be treated this way, and we hope he finds a new home were he can blossom again before the end of his prime.