The Russell Westbrook experiment in the Los Angeles Lakers went just as good as most people thought. He wasn't a good fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis and you didn't have to be a savant to realize that.

But as bad as the fit was, Westbrook didn't look like the same player he's been for the most part of his career. His confidence was off, his defensive effort was non-existent, and it only got worst as the season went by.

Eventually, the Lakers didn't even make the play-in tournament and decided to cut ties with Frank Vogel. But besides the disappointing season, it was Vogel's inability to make the most of Westbrook's talents that made the Lakers show him the door.

NBA Rumors: Lakers Fired Frank Vogel Because Of Inability To Use Russell Westbrook

(Transcript via Sam Amick of The Athletic)

"When the decision was made to fire Vogel, sources say his handling of Westbrook and the inability to find a way to make him a more productive part of the program were among the factors that played a big part. There was a strong sense that it was on Vogel to make the Westbrook experiment work, and the fact that it didn’t lead to questions about whether Westbrook had been put in a position to succeed. That sure smells like the hope of a Russ revival to me.

And how’s this for a tidbit to tie this thread up: Phil Jackson is known to have been a fan of Westbrook’s throughout his career. Sources say Phil Jackson has no interest in taking on this coaching job (or any other) himself — let’s just stop that rumor right here — but his view of Westbrook is relevant. As we’ve established, Jackson’s voice matters again."


Vogel benched Westbrook during key stretches and in most close games. Westbrook never hesitated to let the world know that he wasn't happy about that, although he didn't do much to help his case when he was on the floor.

At the end of the day, Vogel proved that he had no clue as to how to turn the team around and make the most of Westbrook's unique skill set, as much as Westbrook failed to realize that he had to change his game to help his team win. For now, however, there's just one casualty.