There may be no team in the NBA where fans are watching closely for signs of discontent on the floor more than the Los Angeles Lakers, particularly when it comes to Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers have been trying to trade him for the better part of a year now to no avail, and while he’s said the right things about going about his business as usual, few would fault him for being a bit less engaged with his continued position on the trade block. On Wednesday night, ESPN’s cameras seemed to capture such a moment when Patrick Beverley tried to pull his Lakers teammates in for a huddle after a foul, only for Russ to be standing off to the side, not joining in.
Pat Bev trying to call a team huddle… pic.twitter.com/ZTezyKOAd0
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 13, 2022
That clip went viral and sparked plenty of conversation about Russ and his relationship with Beverley (and the Lakers as a whole). However, on Thursday, Westbrook addressed that video — and another of him seemingly ignoring the pregame huddle after intros — saying that in the in-game clip he was talking to the coaches, while it’s been his pregame ritual to run to the corner of the court and take off his warmups for his entire career.
Russ addresses the clips of last night’s game that have gotten traction online, saying in the third quarter video of the huddle, he was talking to coaches. His pregame ritual is something he’s done throughout his career: pic.twitter.com/eGMg4zu9pN
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 13, 2022
The full videos of both show what Westbrook is talking about, as he darts to the corner in pregame and, on the Spectrum feed, you can see him turning to have a conversation with his coaches, unaware of the huddle happening a few feet away with his teammates.
A Russell Westbrook clip where he's seen away from another huddle is making the rounds.
If you peep the entire video, though, Russ was with his Lakers teammates at the start. 👀
(🎥 _michaelmorales10/IG) pic.twitter.com/y72eF9dDni
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 13, 2022
in re: to that Westbrook/Pat Bev vid going viral, here’s the camera angle from Spectrum Sportsnet which shows what Russ was doing when Pat tried to huddle up. pic.twitter.com/GKnrD4KMLw
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) October 13, 2022
You can tell Russ is a bit amused by this becoming a genuine talking point — and that he’s fairly used to it at this point — but for now Lakers fans (and other fans looking to rubberneck at another Lakers trainwreck) can calm down a bit about things unraveling already with Westbrook.