Charles Barkley Slams Lakers as 'Wusses' Amid Russell Westbrook, Frank Vogel Drama

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 19, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA analyst Charles Barkley called the Los Angeles Lakers "wusses" for their treatment of head coach Frank Vogel and guard Russell Westbrook. 

"The people up top who put that trash together are running and hiding like cowards, saying 'it's Frank, it's Russ,'" Barkley said.

The Lakers fell to 22-23 on the season after Wednesday's 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the team's fourth defeat in the last five games. Vogel made headlines in the latest loss with his decision to bench Westbrook in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.    

"Playing the guys that I thought were going to win the game," the coach told reporters afterward.

Westbrook has struggled in his first season in Los Angeles despite averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. His efficiency and defense have been issues, while his .038 win shares per 48 minutes are his lowest since his rookie year in 2008-09, per Basketball Reference

Vogel has also come under fire with the squad unable to reach expectations despite having superstars like LeBron James, Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony on the roster.

Barkley believes the front office is to blame for its inability to put together a winning roster.