Listen to this article here
Los Angles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has signed with agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports for his representation.
Last month, Westbrook’s former longtime agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman, said he and Westbrook parted ways. Foucher cited “irreconcilable differences” in a statement and suggested that there was no longer full alignment with Westbrook about whether the former MVP should want to remain with the Lakers for the final season of his $47 million contract.
Westbrook is entering the final season of a five-year maximum deal. The 33-year-old averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games last season, per ESPN.
After a long year of embarrassingly missed shot attempts, being heckled by Laker nation, and consistent poor play, Westbrook’s role on his hometown team will likely look far different next year, that is, if he makes it to next year. Westbrook’s name has been in trade talks throughout the summer and it is still unclear if he’ll be a member of the roster for the 2023 season.
The new Lakers head coach, Darvin Ham, has been empowered to use Westbrook as he sees fit. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Ham “will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games,” and that power “could eventually extend to removing Westbrook from the starting lineup.”
While NBA conventional wisdom says you need a Big 3 (3 star or superstar talents on a roster), Russell Westbrook never held up his end of the bargain for Laker teammates Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Throughout last season, Westbrook continually performed mediocre-at-best and shameful-at-worst. Due to his inability to effectively manage the game, score points, or play defense, he was often a liability on the court for a team with Championship aspirations.
One thing about LeBron James, he may not have won all 10 of his NBA Finals appearances, however, he understands better than most what it takes to get there. Yet, during the 2022 NBA season, Westbrook’s play became so abhorrent and unwatchable for much of Laker nation and for a living legend like LeBron James, it had to be particularly difficult to watch a teammate struggle so mightily while simultaneously refusing to take accountability or improve throughout the 82 game regular season.
Regardless of the management or representation, Russell Westbrook’s play on the court has made him a meme, gif, and trend for all the wrong reasons and because of that, many speculate he’ll be moved from LA before the NBA tips off on October 19.