Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was roundly criticized on social media for both his performance and demeanor during a 118-113 preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Westbrook has been the primary scapegoat for the Lakers' struggles since the start of last season, and he didn't do himself any favors when he seemingly ignored teammate Patrick Beverley during Wednesday's contest.
Beverley, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Utah Jazz as a potential replacement for Westbrook in the starting lineup, called for a team huddle during the third quarter, and Westbrook was the only player on the court who didn't join in.
That didn't sit well with fans, as several of them blasted Westbrook on Twitter for his actions:
Aside from the incident with Beverley, Westbrook simply didn't play well in Wednesday's game despite getting plenty of run with 25 minutes of action.
The 2017 NBA MVP finished with just five points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field and 0-of-2 shooting from beyond the arc, to go along with four assists and three rebounds.
Westbrook was often derided by fans for his play last season amid the Lakers struggling and failing to reach the playoffs, and that has carried over to the 2022 preseason:
The Lakers acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards last offseason in hopes that he could form a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it didn't work out due in large part to those two missing time with injuries.
Westbrook opted into the final year of his deal for 2022-23, and while there was speculation regarding a potential trade, his $41.7 million contract is an albatross, making it difficult to find a taker.
As a result, the Lakers are set to roll into the season with Westbrook in a key role, and that could prove disastrous unless he makes improvements on the effort he turned in during Wednesday's preseason outing.