Sports

Russell Westbrook can’t see the forest… or the trees


Russell Westbrook says he’s never had an issue with any of his coaches, after Frank Vogel got fired.

Russell Westbrook says he’s never had an issue with any of his coaches, after Frank Vogel got fired.
Illustration: Getty Images

Russell Westbrook didn’t hesitate to kick dirt on Frank Vogel after the latter was fired as Lakers coach.

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“I think it’s unfortunate, to be honest, because I’ve never had an issue with any of my coaches before,” Westbrook said on Monday. “I’m not sure what his issue was with me or I’m not sure why, but I can’t really give you an answer to why we really never connected.”

Russ’ comments are about as oblivious as his game was this past season.

In order to play the way Russ has for the past few seasons now, it has to take a certain level of blinders-to-the-world. If you’re going to simply run everything through yourself even though you can’t shoot and pile up stats like a hoarder, whether it’s for the sake of it or because you think that’s the best way to do it, you are probably not going to care what too many others think or how anything else fits. You are the sun and the moon, after all.

Russ can say he never had a problem with a coach, but given the velocity with which he was punted out of Houston and D.C., clearly someone wasn’t pleased. The biggest problem for Russ is that to live in his bubbled world where he had become convinced he was the North Star is that you probably don’t notice when you can’t do that anymore due to age or to fit on a team.

Russ was an awful fit on a Lakers team where he would do most of his work off the ball, which makes little sense when, again, Russ can’t shoot. His cap hit fustigated the Lakers’ depth, which was always on display considering they always had a handful of players at least looking like that scene out of Gone With The Wind most nights. Russ’ Beacon Of Light style that he opted for in Oklahoma City after Kevin Durant left certainly caused eye-popping numbers and performances, but it also meant the Thunder were rarely worth a shit. Paired with other stars in Houston, D.C., and L.A., those teams haven’t amounted to shit-worthy either.

Russ had to put up walls blocking off the view to anything outside of him. It’s all crumbling now, but he’ll most likely never see the view.

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