EL SEGUNDO, CA – After several videos went viral which made it appear Russell Westbrook He purposely distanced himself from his teammates during the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, the veteran guard offered context to expose any signs of discord.
In one of the videos, filmed on a phone by Instagram user Michael Morales from a seat behind the Lakers bench, Westbrook is seen greeting teammates near the foul line while introducing the player and then running to the bench alone, while the Lakers gather.
“Before the game, I’ve been doing it since I’ve been in the league for years, man,” Westbrook said after training on Thursday. “I think they just cut the video and obviously the internet is going to take it and work with whatever they need. But, I’ve been doing the same ritual since I was in the league.”
Westbrook’s wife, Nina, responded to a Twitter user who has already shown several photos and videos of Westbrook following the same pre-solo rituals at other teams he’s played with by writing, “Smh…and it starts…”
allowed … and begins …
– Nina Westbrook (@ninawestbrook) October 13, 2022
Another video, clipped from an ESPN broadcast and widely shared on Twitter, has been shown Patrick Beverly He gathered his teammates on the field after a foul from Westbrook early in the third quarter and Westbrook lined up in a rebounding position outside the fairway to wait for Wolverhampton’s free-throw attempts, instead of joining.
However, another video angle of the same sequence, from Spectrum SportsNet’s broadcast of the game, gives a broader view of the series of events that preceded Beverley’s invitation to Westbrook to join.
First, Westbrook engaged in dialogue with the referee who made the call, then Westbrook turned his attention to the Lakers’ bench to discuss a defensive acquisition with the coaching staff in Los Angeles. Beverly never noticed.
“Regarding the other video, I was already talking to the coaches and they cut that video in half as well,” Westbrook said. “I’ve been talking to coaches about missed coverage. So, I don’t care about it, man.
“Honestly, I’m just trying to compete and do my job. Everything, the videos, are picked. You can cut any video and create anything you want. It’s not up to me to judge that. I know I’m a real team player. I’ve never had a problem with my teammates.” The team, so I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Beverly told reporters Thursday that he didn’t know the video of the rally attempt existed until he was asked about it after the exercise.
“If I don’t know something happened, I can’t really process something that I don’t know happened,” Beverly said.
Westbrook has been a target of frustrated Lakers fans since the team acquired him in a deal with the Washington Wizards in the summer of 2021, as Los Angeles missed the playoffs last season due to their uneven play adding to a whole host of team struggles that included a wide spread. Injuries and the contributions of the disappointing role player.
Despite a tough campaign, Westbrook opted for the final year of his contract to stay in Los Angeles, and new coach Darvin Hamm is vowing to get more of the previous league’s best player this season.
While Westbrook has expressed his displeasure with the way fans made fun of his family name last season, the 13-year-old veteran said Thursday that the scrutiny he faces as a member of the Lakers is no different from the limelight he’s been in control of elsewhere since entering the MLS. For professionals. .
“It’s been the same for me, honestly, man, throughout my career,” Westbrook said. “I’m used to it. And I’m very used to it. That’s why I’ve been so lucky and thankful to be able to keep playing every year and keep my head down and keep competing. And whatever comes with the extra stuff, it comes with it. It’s not up to me to be able to create Internet videos and stuff. I just go out and do my job.”
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