• Russell Westbrook admitted that he had a poor season with the Lakers, pointing to his numbers as proof
  • Westbrook's inability to blend in with the Lakers could turn other NBA teams off
  • One sportswriter said Westbrook needs to join an NBA team that is good for his game

Russell Westbrook knew that when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, the challenge would be adjusting to a new role.

During his exit interview, Westbrook admitted that his 2021-22 stint was far from satisfying. As far as he is concerned, anything less than his usual triple-double numbers clearly shows he had a bad season.

Westbrook is aware that he could have had a better season. But he said the need for him to adjust to playing other positions was one reason why he fared poorly.

“Yeah, I mean it’s different,” Westbrook was quoted as saying by Silver Screen and Roll when asked to grade his year with the Lakers. “It’s a scale that I knew I would have to figure out. Like yes, I would have the ball in my hands a lot less, I’d be in different positions on the floor, and that’s a part of the sacrifice, and that will obviously accumulate to the numbers being a little different and not averaging as many points, and not averaging as many assists. And that’s what I mean by being able to scale and understand my performance and where I see where I could have done different things better.”

“And obviously I could have had a better season, but based on the positions and how we played and where I was at on the floor, I wasn’t really able to do some of the things I was able to do even last year, like obviously, I was coming off of averaging a triple-double, so anything less than that would not be a good season for me, in my eyes,” the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft added.

With LeBron James and Anthony Davis around, the 2017 NBA MVP was seen as the third superstar who could work with them, along with delivering the usual triple-double numbers he has been recording in the past couple of years.

Unfortunately, the 33-year-old guard was never able to do that. He did have some games where he got triple-double numbers. However, these were a far cry from the stat line he showed in his performance with his previous teams.

With his future in Los Angeles uncertain, it remains to be seen where Westbrook could end up. He is due $47 million for the 2022-23 season, and the understanding is that the nine-time All-Star may change uniforms before the next NBA season.

Suitors could come knocking as early as this offseason. However, the fact that Westbrook was unable to adjust may raise concerns among NBA teams. Some may think twice, worried that adding the 6-foot-3 guard may not be worth the investment following his disappointing season.

Sportswriter and Michael Jordan biographer Roland Lazenby previously noted how Westbrook came in but was unable to blend in. For him, Westbrook needs to join a team that would maximize his abilities.

“Westbrook was coming in as a wild leopard in all of nature to change his spots, particularly an old leopard. Westbrook has not changed his spots. He is still a pretty cynical guy. He is still a great player, but he needs to be in a certain context. And the Lakers were not a good team for Russell Westbrook’s game,” Lazenby said.

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Michael Owens