Russell Westbrook heard most of the trade rumors related to his future with the Los Angeles Lakers. The one-time NBA MVP is coming off of a disappointing season and the front office is still looking for a potential trade partner. General Manager Rob Pelinka doesn’t have too many options to work with right now and Russ is the only tradeable asset.
Westbrook doesn’t mind being mentioned in trade rumors. He knows that the Lakers want to trade him. Russ is a Laker at the moment and head coach Darvin Ham is carving out a good role for him.
Russell Westbrook ignores trade rumors, focuses on his job
In his interview with Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers veteran said the he doesn’t need to feel “wanted” by the franchise. He is here to do his job.
“I don’t need to,” Westbrook said. “I need to just do my job. Whether I’m wanted or not doesn’t really matter. I think the most important thing is that I show up for work and I do the job like I’ve always done it: Be professional and go out and play my ass off and compete.”
In his first season with the Lakers, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists. The Lakers traded a big chunk of their roster to get him, but Westbrook turned out to be a big disappointment. Some criticized his performance while others believe he is just a bad fit for the franchise. One thing stands for sure, Westbrook was confident. Confidence was never an issue for him.
“No, I didn’t have to fight that,” Westbrook said of rumors about his lack of confidence. “I had to fight my response on how it affects the people close to me. To me, that was the important part. Confidence is not something I lack. Yes, there were times last season that I wanted to play better — that I should’ve played better — but my confidence never wavers. Having bad games is part of the NBA, and I understand that.”
Ham has Russ, Patrick Beverley, and Dennis Schroder on the roster. NBA experts would never put these three in the same lineup, but Ham seems to have a solution. How will the Lakers use him? Will he be a bench player in the upcoming season? Westbrook is fine with “whatever it takes for this team to win.”