Johnson recently called out the team for a lack of enthusiasm, tweeting the following: “After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency. Owner Jeanie Buss, you deserve better.” When asked to comment, Westbrook was blunt in his response.
“I do not have a reaction,” he said. “Everybody is entitled, in this world, to their opinion. Regardless of what that it is. You can either take it and run with it or you can take it and put it in one ear and out the other or you cannot respond to it.
“Magic’s entitled to his opinion. And he’s not here every day. He’s not around us every day. He’s not aware of what’s going on internally with us and trying to figure things out. But I have no response to that. … Like I said, everyone in this world is entitled to their opinion and that’s that.”
Johnson spent his entire 13-year career with the Lakers, making the All-Star team 11 times and winning five NBA titles. He was also the team’s president of basketball operations from February of 2017 to April of 2019.
Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:
- Bill Oram of The Athletic further examines Johnson’s comments on the Lakers, noting that LeBron James has stayed publicly silent. Los Angeles has lost three straight games and owns just a 21-22 record. Anthony Davis has only played 27 games, while James has appeared in just 31.
- Clippers guard Xavier Moon is showing he belongs on the team, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. As Hoops Rumors first reported, Los Angeles signed Moon to a third 10-day hardship deal last week, choosing to keep him after his impressive play. “I love his pace, he knows how to play … to come to a team like this and perform the way he has, it shows he’s a good player and that he’s definitely making a case that he belongs,” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “So it’s just good to see. He has a skill set and he just needed an opportunity and the opportunity we’ve given him, he’s definitely taking advantage of it.”
- Suns center Deandre Ayton exited the team’s game against the Pistons early on Sunday, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Ayton suffered a right ankle sprain and didn’t return for the second half. It’s unclear how much time he may miss.