April 12, 2024

What Happened To Russell Westbrook?


If you are a fan of the NBA, then Russell Westbrook is a name known to many. Whether you love or hate him, Westbrook is arguably one of the best point guards in the league and undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer. 

If you have paid any attention during the NBA trade deadline, then you may have noticed Russell Westbrook landing a new home not once but twice since being traded from the Lakers. First, on February 8th, the Lakers entered a 3-team deal with Minnesota and Utah, with Utah ultimately landing Russell Westbrook. Then comes February 20th, when the Utah Jazz waived Westbrook, and on February 22nd, the Los Angeles Clippers announced the signing of Russell Westbrook. 

Lakers Season 2021

Since joining the Lakers roster in 2021 and playing two seasons with them, Russell Westbrook was always the topic to talk about in Los Angeles. In the 2021 season, Russel Westbrook played a total of 78/82 regular season games for the Lakers. In that timeframe, he played for an average of 34.3 minutes per game and had an average of 18.5 points per game. He averaged 44.4% from the field goal and 29.8% from the 3pt line for his shooting stats. He averages 7.4 per game for rebounds, 7.1 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game, and 0.3 blocks per game. 

Lakers Season 2022

The 2022 season for Russell Westbrook is where things started to shift in the wrong direction. This season he played a total of 52 games before being traded and averaged 28.7 minutes per game, the lowest amount he has played in his career. He averaged 15.9 points, his second-lowest points stat line in his career. He averaged 41.7% from the field goal and 29.6% from the 3pt line. Westbrook averaged 6.2 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game. 

Between his two Lakers seasons, 2021 was a better year for the point guard as he maintained a higher stat rate than his 2022 year. However, we do have to consider that he was traded in the middle of the 2022 season. In addition, his stat line will vary since he left for the Clippers, so we need to find out how well he could have done for the remainder of the Lakers season. 

Lakers Environment

Russell Westbrook has been very vocal about his time as a Laker, especially about the crowd and fans. He even said he didn’t want his kids to attend home games. The fans were very hostile toward Russell and were sarcastic towards him when he did play well. Furthermore, he talked about how the vibes were awkward with them and even had problems with many of them. 

Before the Westbrook trade, the Lakers had the probability of trading him after the season. On the ClutchPoints website, they said this about Westbrook, “It might cost the Lakers two future first-round picks, but Russ will probably be traded after this season. His one campaign in Los Angeles has been historically disastrous. He will be blamed (unfairly) for a trade that dismantled a championship-proven squad and hamstrung the team’s future.”

Career Statistics for Russell Westbrook

Looking back on Russell Westbrook’s career, he has thrived back in his time as an OKC Thunder starting in 2008. He played with them until 2018, then was traded to the Rockets in 2019 and the Wizards in 2020, became a Laker for the 2021-2022 season, and finally stayed in L.A. only to be a Clipper. 

In his career, Westbrook has played a total of 1,079 games averaging 34.4 minutes per game. He has averaged 22.4 points per game, averaging 43.7% from the field goal and 30.4% from the 3pt line. In addition, he has averaged 7.3 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game. 

Looking back at his overall stats in his career, his time at the Lakers has been relatively his worse performance-wise. Whether to blame Westbrook or his team for his statistics is debatable. Furthermore, from the times we’ve seen him play, he was subjected to many missed points, bad call-making, and fouling. Additionally, statistic-wise, and being the big-time player that he is, he underperformed for the Lakers. From that alone, it makes us wonder if his time and contract for the Lakers was worth it or not.

Clippers Season so far

After stealing the starting position from Terance Mann, Russell Westbrook has started to put up some decent numbers since debuting for the Clippers. Westbrook has played a total of 6 games, and from the time of this article, the Clippers are 1-5 since adding Westbrook. He has played an average of 31.7 minutes since joining. He has been averaging 15.3 points with a 52.1% from the field goal and 27.8% from the 3pt line. For his career so far, he has averaged 4.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks. 

Furthermore, everyone in the Clippers has been relatively optimistic about the arrival of Westbrook. Paul George was asked about the addition to Westbrook, and he had this to say, “Extremely important. He fits what a leader is as a point guard. Constantly just keeping guys uplifted, just staying positive. You need guys like that, especially from the point guard position.” Ivica Zubac, who plays center for the Clippers, had this to stay, “I like it a lot. It’s way better than I thought it would be… He’s a great leader, also. He’s very vocal. Something we needed… He has a great attitude, he’s always smiling, always laughing, and being very positive. I’m super excited he’s here.”

An end note to Russell Westbrook

With the craziness that has occurred in the span of a couple of years for Russell Westbrook, many want to see him succeed, but others want to see him fail. We expected to see him as a Thunder forever, but business is business. Even with the many teams he has been on since leaving the Thunder, his name is always somewhere online for the good and the bad. Russell Westbrook is a tough player who will get the job done and wants to win. Hopefully, being added to the Clippers will give Westbrook a fresh start in L.A.

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