Even though the Los Angeles Lakers managed to get a big win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night, the situation is still complex for the 17-time NBA champions. The team is still trying to find its touch this NBA season, where the entire roster has had a hard time trying to make an impact.
LeBron James has been the best player on the team during these three months, but being carried by a 37-year-old player isn’t the best deal for the Lakers, at least in the regular season. That’s why Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis must step up and help The King.
With AD sidelined, Westbrook has failed to make a big impact, earning plenty of criticism from fans and analysts alike. Frank Vogel even made some changes against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, benching the point guard in the final minutes of the game, as he didn’t feel Westbrook was the right player to win the match.
In the end, that didn’t work, and Westbrook left the arena without talking to reporters. Brodie broke his silence on Friday, explaining how he felt at that moment, but admitting he’s still focused on helping the Lakers.
“Ultimately, you have to be OK when s— doesn’t go well, and I’m OK,” Westbrook told ESPN. “I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me here, and I’ll continue to do so and ride this out as long as we can toward our ultimate goal — and that’s to win a championship.”
These comments didn’t sit well around the NBA community, and one of his biggest detractors didn’t miss his chance to blast the 2017 NBA MVP. Shannon Sharpe reacted to Russ’ comments, taking a shot at his hypocrisy. Just last month, Westbrook said he was fine if he didn’t win an NBA title. Sharpe didn’t forget about that and went with everything at the player.
“Now, all of a sudden, you care about winning? When in your own words, it’s not the end-all-be-all, life goes on?” Sharpe said on Friday’s edition of FS1’s Undisputed. “No, it hurt your pride that you got benched. I take what he says with a grain of salt.”
He made two contradicting statements in one month to fit the narrative he wanted to create, but some people never forget, and Sharpe is one of them. The NFL legend has attacked Russ repeatedly since he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, calling him a pretty girl that everybody leaves, saying he was the issue on the ringless Oklahoma City Thunder, and calling him the biggest challenge of LeBron James’ life.
Shannon doesn’t have any love for Brodie and that won’t change anytime soon unless Westbrook bounces back, shows he can be an impactful player at Crypto.com Arena and helps the Lakers reach the top 4 of the West. Until then, not only Sharpe, but the rest of the NBA community will keep trashing him.