Darvin Ham on Russell Westbrook: 'Don’t Have Time for People to Be in Their Feelings'

Doric SamOctober 23, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 5: Head coach Darvin Ham talks to Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers  during a preseason game against the Phoenix Suns on October 5, 2022 at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV. 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 Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 0-3 after Sunday's disappointing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

So when head coach Darvin Ham was asked about how he thinks point guard Russell Westbrook would react to being benched late in the game, he understandably said the team has bigger things to worry about.

"We don't have time for people to be in their feelings," Ham told reporters.

Westbrook played 28 minutes on Sunday, the fewest of any Lakers starter. He was limited to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting with six rebounds and six assists. The Lakers held a seven-point lead with under two minutes left before the Blazers closed the game on an 11-2 run.

Much of Portland's comeback run occurred when Westbrook was on the bench, but Ham brought him back into the game with under a minute left. The Lakers held a one-point lead at that point, but Westbrook took an ill-advised jumper early in the shot clock that missed and allowed the Blazers to get the ball back.

On the ensuing possession, Portland star point guard Damian Lillard hit a go-ahead three-pointer. Lakers star LeBron James answered with a game-tying dunk, but Blazers forward Jerami Grant hit a game-winning layup with three seconds left. James had the chance to force overtime, but his shot bounced off the rim.

Ham told reporters that he reinserted Westbrook into the game "because he wanted another athletic perimeter defender so the Lakers could switch on the perimeter." Westbrook said he was looking for a two-for-one opportunity when he took that jumper with 27.3 seconds remaining and about 18 seconds on the shot clock.

Some believe that Westbrook would be better-served coming off the bench for the Lakers:

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS

Every Lakers starter had a positive point differential except for Russell Westbrook (-4).<br><br>Lakers starters not named Russell Westbrook shot 29-of-55 from the field (52.7%).<br><br>Russell Westbrook shot 4-of-15 from the field (26.7%).<br><br>It's time. Bring him off of the bench.

The Lakers will have some extra time to figure things out before they return to action against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.