Russell Westbrook‘s homecoming with the Los Angeles Lakers has been anything but enjoyable. The star point guard’s ongoing struggles have pushed him to finally address the criticism that is heavily impacting his family.
Westbrook’s remarks lend an olive branch to the mental wear and tear the situation has taken beyond the court. All that has led Kendrick Perkins to voice that it might be best for his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate to sit out the rest of the season.
Russell Westbrook hits a breaking point with the criticism
Throughout much of his first campaign in Los Angeles, Westbrook has repeatedly shielded himself against criticism.
However, on Monday night, the chatter reached a breaking point for him as the shaming of his last name to “Westbrick” got under his skin. Westbrook revealed that his wife Nina’s social media comments concerning the manner changed his perspective, especially with his son recently expressing proudness with their last name.
“I 100 percent stand behind my wife and how she’s feeling,” Westbrook said via ESPN. “When it comes to basketball, I don’t mind the criticism of missing and making shots. But the moment it becomes where my name is getting shamed, it becomes an issue.
The star point guard showing his vulnerability displayed another side of himself because everything is starting to negatively affect his family. The situation pushed things to the point where his parents and wife no longer feel comfortable attending home games.
Many have weighed in regarding the matter, leading his former teammates to express a strong stance.
Kendrick Perkins suggests Russell Westbrook sits out the rest of the season
Westbrook’s recent admission about the criticism weighing on his family shed light on how his basketball struggles are impacting him off the court.
The response has varied from support due to the overwhelming negativity of the situation to those believing that outside noise comes with the territory. That is especially the case with him not performing well.
During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Today on Tuesday, Kendrick Perkins walked the fine line between both perspectives while adding that he believes it might be best for the nine-time All-Star to sit the rest of the season.
“I said this about a month ago, Westbrook is broken,” Perkins said. “I’m not talking about his jump shot. I could see it in his body language. Now we are realizing that Russell Westbrook is human…You feel sorry for him in one aspect because you don’t ever want to see his family get attacked, but on the other side of it, you actually have to play a role of keeping your family in check.
“It’s to the point where I almost think it’s best for Russ to not play the rest of this season because he’s not there. When you hear a guy in Magic Johnson criticize you the way Magic did the other night and said if this doesn’t happen then this would be the worst and Russell Westbrook hasn’t done this. That hurts a little differently.”
Westbrook isn’t going to stop playing for the rest of the season, but the writing is on the wall that his tenure in Los Angeles won’t last beyond the upcoming summer. He has tried to make it work, but his playing style and other various factors haven’t gelled together.
The 33-year-old has reached a breaking point with the criticism that will push him harder to desire a new NBA home elsewhere. He will attempt to work through the struggles, but whatever comes about, he will live with the result.
Lakers will make the most off the dire situation
The Lakers know the pathway ahead is bleak, sitting destined to fall into the play-in tournament.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis still doesn’t have a set return date, aside from the team re-examining him in two weeks. The pressure is on Westbrook and LeBron James to lead the team forward toward securing a postseason position. The final regular-season run is an opportunity for the star point guard to dissipate the noise outside while helping his team move toward the ultimate goal.
Looming massive offseason changes are on the horizon, but the Lakers are making the most of the dire situation.