The Lakers went 31-47 in Westbrook’s 78 games last season despite him averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 34.3 minutes per game. The veteran point guard ranked second in the NBA with 295 miscues and 42nd in true shooting percentage (51.2 percent).
Westbrook’s inability to consistently make outside shots made him an awkward fit alongside stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. His 29.8 percent 3-point shooting percentage was sixth worst in the NBA (47.6 percent).
The NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles reportedly had a problem with coaches calling him out during film sessions. On the July 20 episode of The Athletic NBA Show, Jovan Buha claimed that Westbrook argued when his obvious errors were pointed out to him.
Last year, “I heard that during film sessions he would push back on stuff that was very obvious, such as, ‘Hey, you missed this defensive rotation.’” He hated being the spotlight in those shoots, Buha said.
Westbrook must earn a roster spot with the Lakers and be more receptive to criticism of his play if he wants to succeed there. The team’s new head coach, Darvin Ham, is free to play Westbrook however he sees fit. According to a 3 August Buha report, “Ham will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games,” and that authority “could eventually extend to removing Westbrook from the starting lineup.”
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