Several people in the Lakers’ organization want to see Russell Westbrook coming off the bench, but head coach Frank Vogel has resisted making the move, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Although Vogel is supporting Westbrook, tensions between them have been growing this week, sources tell Wojnarowski, including an incident at a film session on Friday. Westbrook and the coaching staff have “differing visions” on how he should be used, Woj adds.
Westbrook spoke out publicly about his frustrations on Thursday, saying his role with the team has changed “every single night.” A ball-dominant player throughout his career, Westbrook has been asked lately to spend more time off the ball and give up some of his play-making duties.
Vogel admitted to reporters on Friday that he has talked to the front office about moving Westbrook to a reserve role, but he downplayed the significance of those conversations.
“We have discussions, just like the front office has thousands of trade discussions every deadline, and they don’t discuss every one of those,” Vogel said. “Most of them don’t come to fruition. And that’s where we’re at with Russ. Is there a path where that’s the better option? We have talked about that. We’ve talked about everything we can do with our team. We’re not there.”
The dispute comes at a particularly bad time for the Lakers, who have dropped 11 of their past 14 games and are in danger of falling into the final play-in spot. Westbrook’s shooting struggles have played a significant role in the downturn, Wojnarowski adds, as he’s connecting at less than 30% from three-point range for the fourth time in five seasons and has gone 10 consecutive games without reaching 20 points for the first time since 2009.
41 thoughts on “Frank Vogel Resisting Pressure To Pull Russell Westbrook From Starting Lineup”
I said it the other day. Westbrook should be in the bench. He was a terrible fit with the lakers from day 1
Wow what a novel, unique concept you came up with the other day. What did you win?
Lol – anything new here?
Until they get AD back, it doesn’t really matter what they do. Even after they get him back they’re still barely a playoff team.
Does any team get better when you have an offseason when you add both Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony? When they’re on the court, and they don’t have the ball in their hands, you’re playing 3 against 5 at that point. Same thing on defense.
You can’t improve a team with stat padders.
Mike Krzyzewski coached his last home game today. Your comment reminds me of one of his….
One year Krzyzewski was coaching the US Olympic team. Carmelo Anthony was having a great series of games. Krzyzewski thought he was complimenting ‘Melo’ when he said – “He can play defense when he wants to”.
Melo has always put himself and his contract ahead of very team he’s ever played on. When he joins a team they get worse, and the one he left gets better. But the fans that don’t understand basketball think he’s some sort of superstar after watching cable TV highlights. In fact he’s an above average scorer – not anywhere near great; but a below average offensive player and a poor defensive player. He’s always eaten up a disproportionate portion of his teams payroll for what he produces on the court, and hurts his teammates and the offensive flow by demanding the ball too often.
Yes, what a surprise – Melo and Westbrook show up to take a team to a championship and with one major player injury their championship team is on the borderline of missing a 20 team playoffs.
Yep, that about sizes up both of them.
Another funny add for Carmelo is when Jeremy Lin had saved the Knicks season that one year when Carmelo was injured for a couple of weeks. When it was time to come back, and he was asked if he’d be able to adjust to the chemistry that was built between Lin, Amare and the rest of the roster under d’Antoni, Carmelo responded (and I’m paraphrasing/summarizing) that he didn’t have to adjust to his teammates; his teammates had to adjust to him, and I’ll quote, “…’cause I been doin’ this fo’ years…”
To me, Carmelo has always been a slightly advanced and more selfish version of something between Glenn Robinson and Glen Rice. Russell Westbrook is a slightly advanced version of Stephon Marbury. Those guys could get you stats, but they ain’t carrying a team anywhere, and their impact is no better than any other supporting cast player. At least Glen Rice knew better to take on a supporting role with the Lakers and Robinson knew to support in San Antonio in order for those two to get rings. I don’t think Carmelo and Westbrook have that kind of adjustment in them.
Glen Rice was a much better team player than Melo. If he ever got the usage rate that Melo or other comparable stars of that time did he would have averaged 30 per in his peak years. I always wished he shot more. Dude could ball.
Weird, I swear I remember Melo dragging the Nuggets to the playoffs every year he was there even in his his rookie season. My memory must be failing to think that they made a trip to the western conference finals guess I was wrong. Hey though you’re so right the Knicks they’ve been a dominant powerhouse since Anthony left.
I didn’t realize the rest of the Nuggets players sucked.
Yeah, the Knicks were a dominant powerhouse in the years Anthony was there.
The Nuggets were 17-65 the year before Melo, 43-39 his rookie year. There was a reason they were picking 3rd. Don’t get me wrong Camby and Miller were perfectly serviceable players but they were 26 games better Melo’s rookie year and he was the only notable addition.
Other than last year the last time the Knicks made the playoffs was with Anthony in 2012-2013.
The best teammates he ever had in his prime were an the aforementioned Camby and Miller then old man Iverson and finally Billups whom he made the WFC with. I’ll admit the 2012 Knicks with Melo, Kidd, J.R. Smith and Chandler were pretty good but it’s not like they were any better after he left.
He didn’t really ever get a chance in Houston but he accepted his role in Portland and played better than expected, yhis season with the Lakers Anthony played exceptionally well in his bench role.
Westbrook may still plan to sign another big contract
Let’s say the new contract is $120 million like Chris Paul
Bench him = 3 million vet min
He would lose $117 million
Front office = Lebron
If Lakers are able to fix Westbrook, they can trade him to Rockets for young players and 2 first round picks
Currently Westbrook is broken
Russ this year is playing exactly like he is suppose to play. His shooting numbers this year basically exactly match his numbers over the last 5 years. He is exactly who he was suppose to be. There are more eyes now but he isn’t playing any worse than he always does.
Russ was MVP 4 seasons ago
Pretend those are Westbrooks last 5 years including this one and are in random order. There is not much difference. Now realize they are in order and there isn’t much difference and it’s not pretend it’s reality. Marc Gasol was a MVP candidate 5 years ago also and that also means nothing now.
I wanted to flag this comment by Sillivan because it is so out of touch with possibility that it is offensive.
You don’t get Sillyman by now.
He’s wants to lose his job over that? Front the start, that should’ve been where Russ was. He was never gonna work with LeBron starting. Many stars went to the Lakers in the past, sacrificed and won. That’s too much for Westbrook. He’s just like Iverson. Too much ego at the end of their careers
At the end of their careers?
From the start the idea was Russ would inject some offense and let Lebron have some games “off”. That obviously hasn’t happened, though much less ink is spilled over AD who also contributes nothing to this team with how much time he’s missed.
Russ deserves blame for sure, but I think the Kirk Cousins analogy DarkSide makes is a good one. Expectations are through the roof, when realistically Russ was never brought in to “save” or lead this team, and a lot of other Lakers need to pick up the slack too.
Russ is a perfect foil, in my mind, for Kirk Cousins. he’s treated as if a bad player, but the reality is his main issue is being overpaid. if both players were paid at market value than their teams would be able to reroute resources to supplement their shortcomings.
Pretty glaring typo referring to Westbrook as a “she” in the last paragraph
Shooting percentage so bad they took his gender away….
That’s been fixed, thanks.
Great team, one guy wants to be GM and the other one won’t listen to a coach. Great characters, great coaching.
Westbrook plays timid. His gm is pushing the ball and attacking. You can’t do that with an old team. Unfortunately without Dunn. You can’t play Westbrook at the 2. This falls on GM Bron and Lakers. They should know who he is by now. Sitting him now is way too late. Like Magic said. Lakers still got time to get in playoffs.
To me their worst part of game is their team D. So why isn’t Howard playing 30 mins. Blaming Russ is scapegoating. They went after him so use him right.
Randle and Fournier for Westbrook could work for both sides. Same as Dinwiddie and Bertans for Westbrook.
Dallas and NYK need to get out of those contracts and the Lakers need smaller, more tradeable contracts but also potential all four of those players would fit alongside AD and LBJ.
I might do that. Considering how bad I want Randle gone. I still like Fournier. But Russ here. He can be the Russ of OKC. Just push the ball and attack. We have a young team. RJ and Obi on wings, it can work. Plus his contract comes off in one yr. The rookies will be a yr older. Id have to get their #1 pick.
Fournier, Randle, Kemba for >>>>
Russ and a future #1 pick.
You and Evan Fournier’s mother are probably the only 2 people in this world that still like Fournier. Oh, and Thibs too.
Fournier adds something we need and lack. That’s shooting. Unfortunately Thibs has not used him well imo. And Randles selfishness has affected the whole offense. Last yrs Randle seems like yrs ago. Fournier was not just a shooter on Magic. Here he stands only at 3PT line. It’s ridiculous.
It would be the 27 or 29 1st. But yes I think the Lakers would do that and I forgot about adding Kembas money bc I think the trade works without Kemba. But if I’m the Lakers I’d do that. They wont have to cut guys bc 3/4 of the team are on vet min.
The Lakers could have made other moves, Hield or Sign Derozan— but they signed Westbrook… plus an old team, with AD PERPETUALLY HURT…. Lebron, Monk, Austin Reeves only bright spots this year…..in off season, need to get rid of Westbrook— bad fit, they need knock down shooters…..
Id hate that deal (and it’s implications) if I was the Lakers
I’d Make that deal in a NY minute if I was the the Knicks
But Jeanie’s gonna be facing extreme brash pressure from everyone under the sun to move Russ so that’s exactly when other GM’s should be picking up and calling with unique offers like that, ESPECIALLY ones that are washing 23 neways like the Knicks –
Both teams will have some talks come July tho, Big move for Jeanie, I’m scared tbh
Some people within the Lakers’ organization? LOL. Someone need to educate these people on what coaching is, and that they have a good HC. Still, if these 2k’ers or fantasy players want Vogel’s job, then let them convince Jeanie and her entourage that they, and not Vogel, should have it. That way they can implement their coaching decisions AND get the credit f0r them too. In addition, they’ll get a new wardrobe. Vogel gets the rest of his contract. Everyone goes home a winner. Except the team.
Russ is a great player, we all agree he is one of the best in the history of the league, so that settles that.
So if he is not working in LAL, who’s fault is it?
In my mind can’t look any further than coach Vogel, make no mistake about it!
His only job is to highlight the strength of each one of his players while hiding their weaknesses, when it comes to Russ he is failing at a historical level, only way forward is not benching Russ, which is the most idiotic thing I have heard in a long time, but fire the useless coach, although it might be too late in the day, that had to be done before the 20 games mark, after that is just too late to change the season!
Great game in the end. Lakers are not dead, just unlikely to advance far.
JVG commented on Woj’s story during the game, which Woj delivered pregame. JVG thought it was Woj’s opinion and ranted about it lol, but it was from an unnamed source and not Vogel’s plan anyway.
Good to see DJ Augustin looking heads-up if rusty. He should be the PG. I agree with the Woj-source.
Melo looked great too.
JVG did not go on about Kuminga this game, despite several flashy dunks and 18 points. They were easy shots though and Kuminga got burned sometimes, and GSW let the game slip away… Someone was not picking up center Lebron, who went for 56, mostly by driving straight down Euclid.
Melo’s looked good most of the season, he belongs in that group of “bright spots” like Reeves and Monk.
Agree, I was kind of responding to the putdowns of Melo earlier on the page. Melo has always been overrated, and is flawed by real-world standards, if not by NBA standards too. But, he also gets scapegoated when things go bad, and was a redeem-teamer for USA. Now he contributes well.
It is amazing Reeves got so underrated to be so available… speaking of flaws… What is his? lol