Lakers’ coaching candidates asked how they would use Russell Westbrook

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The notion of Russell Westbrook remaining part of their program is seeming more real all the time. Despite the widely held belief that the Lakers would find a way to trade Westbrook before the start of next season, sources say their coaching candidates have been asked to discuss how they would use him in their system during interviews. The takeaway for candidates, it seems, is that maximizing Westbrook’s presence after his disastrous 2021-22 season is considered an important part of this job.
Source: Sam Amick @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Adam Spolane @AdamSpolane
Just let me know when Pat starts talking about Russell Westbrook – 11:21 AM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I’m honestly amazed Lakers Twitter hasn’t given me a Chris Paul-for-Russell Westbrook trade machine screenshot yet. – 9:33 PM

Andrew Sharp @andrewsharp
Booker and CP3’s Game 2 press conference immediately goes into the Hall of Fame next to Westbrook laughing at Steph halfway through the 2016 WCF. – 8:59 PM

Nick Wright @getnickwright
#35 on the 50 Best Players of the Last 50 Years:
Russell Westbrook @Russell Westbrook
youtube.com/watch?v=ZWs9iJ…11:37 AM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
📅 On this day in 2021, the @Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 17 assists in a 120-105 win over the Cavs.
It was the last of seven straight 15-assist games for Westbrook. The only player in NBA history with a longer such streak is John Stockton (3x). pic.twitter.com/vx5q9XuXtf5:01 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Harden flames out: he’s not the player he used to be
KD 1st round sweep: not his fault, it’s his superstar teammates who missed games
Westbrook misses playoffs: this is the player he’s always been and it’s his fault, not his superstar teammates who missed games
#NBAnarratives2:26 PM

Austin Burton @Amaar_206
If the Lakers really decide to build around Russell Westbrook and hire Doc Rivers, they could become the first NBA team to blow a 4-0 series lead. pic.twitter.com/hPBlgI75Mz1:15 PM

More on this storyline

To that end, it’s worth revisiting my report from earlier this month about Jackson’s affinity for Westbrook. When the decision was made to fire Vogel, there was a belief from on high that Westbrook wasn’t put in a position to succeed. For Jackson’s part, sources say he has cited the Gary Payton dilemma in the 2003-04 Lakers season as a way of illustrating a coach’s need to make the best of roster decisions that weren’t his preference. In essence, deal with the hand you’re dealt rather than complain about it. -via The Athletic / May 16, 2022

When the Lakers’ late owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, insisted on adding Payton in the summer of 2003, that meant Jackson had to convince Derek Fisher to come off the bench. And considering those Lakers had won titles in three of the previous four seasons with Fisher starting, this wasn’t a welcome situation for Jackson to have to handle. Yet though they didn’t win it all, the Lakers did manage to return to the finals that season (where they lost to Detroit). The comparison, it seems, was made to make the point that the coach (and his staff) should somehow find a way to find the Westbrook solution. Again, the strong signs continue that the Lakers are preparing for the possibility of Westbrook remaining. -via The Athletic / May 16, 2022

Rivers has three years left on his Philadelphia contract worth a reported $24 million, while league sources maintain that the Lakers’ coaching search has moved so slowly at least in part because they want to see if Rivers or another coach from the top tier (like Utah’s Quin Snyder) makes it to the open market this offseason. One suspects that, one way or another, Rivers is going to start next season with a good job. -via marcstein.substack.com / May 16, 2022