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Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Didn't Like Being Called out During Film Sessions

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2022

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for The h.wood Group

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was reportedly combative throughout the 2021-22 season in film sessions when coaches pointed out mistakes.

"From stuff I heard last season, like during film sessions, he would you know push back on stuff that was very obvious of like, ‘Hey, you missed this defensive rotation’. He did not like being the center of attention in those film sessions," Johan Buva said on The Athletic NBA Show.

The Lakers have been exploring the trade market for Westbrook throughout the summer after what can only be described as a miserable homecoming for the 2017 NBA MVP. Westbrook proved to be an awful on-court fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as the Lakers scuffled their way to a 33-49 record.

While Westbrook was the healthiest of the three stars, he also took the brunt of the criticism for his poor play. The dynamic also played out behind the scenes, with Buha reporting Westbrook bristled at changing his role and had "no interest in role-player tasks."

Westbrook and Frank Vogel never seemed to get along, with Westbrook publicly criticizing the former Lakers coach following Vogel's dismissal.

"I'm not sure what his issue was with me, or I'm not sure why. I can't really give you an answer why we never really connected," Westbrook told reporters.

"That's something that he has to answer … from the get-go, was feeling like I had to try and prove myself to him, and my capabilities and what I've been able to do for this game. It's unfortunate, but it's out of my hands."

Vogel has not responded to Westbrook's criticism. However, it's likely those aforementioned film sessions led to Westbrook feeling singled out—fairly or unfairly.

The situation all speaks to what's become an increasingly disappointing twilight to Westbrook's career. The Lakers were his fourth team in as many seasons, and he recently parted ways with agent Thad Foucher amid a disagreement on how to handle his Los Angeles discord.

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