The Russell Westbrook trade will forever go down as one of the worst trades in Los Angeles Lakers history. It became clear very early on that the Westbrook experiment was not going to work, which should have been the most predictable outcome possible.
Luckily, Los Angeles was able to pivot off of Westbrook at the 2023 deadline and actually turn his contract into a solid young core. That core made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals and has carried over into the 2023-24 season. Now, the Lakers are legitimate title favorites.
Westbrook stayed in LA and signed a minimum deal with the Clippers to finish the 2022-23 season. After a strong postseason in a first-round exit, the Clippers brought Westbrook back on a two-year deal worth $8 million.
That keeps the Westbrook rivalry alive for Lakers fans. While the dark days have since passed, Westbrook still takes his chances to remind Lakers fans why he never worked in the purple and gold. Westbrook’s latest comments on Clippers media day was yet another reminder, and should be worrisome for Clippers fans.
Russell Westbrook reminds Lakers fans why he never worked (and why he is perfect for the Clippers).
This is a similar sentiment that Westbrook shared when he was a member of the Lake Show. And while we love the sentiment that players should just have fun and enjoy themselves, there ultimately is a reason why these teams are paying them millions of dollars to win a sport.
On some teams, you can get by with this “winning doesn’t matter” mindset. The Clippers are one of those teams as that franchise historically has not had much success, making it to just one Conference Finals in franchise history.
The Lakers are not a team that you can get by with that attitude. Excellence isn’t just expected with the Lakers, it is demanded and that always seemed to interfere with Westbrook’s point of view. That is why the relationship soured so quickly and why the fanbase never fully bought into Russ while he was with the team.
Thankfully for fans, the team now has a roster full of players who have one singular goal: an NBA Championship. That is the entire purpose of all of this, after all, and truly is the most fun you can have.