L.A. Lakers have been putting out a stern message to Russell Westbrook after benching him late against the New York Knicks. This decision has made some uproar on the news lately as the fans are supporting the coach’s vision.

Westbrook is facing a harsh reality with this Lakers team. Just a few years ago, he was the face of the OKC Thunder and a beloved star by the NBA community. Now, he is the target of criticism and slander as he watches his role on the team slowly deteriorate.

Westbrook did not play in the final five minutes of the game against the Knicks. He was replaced with Talen Horton-Tucker. The former MVP guard did not notch a point over the final five-plus minutes of regulation and went 0-for-2 on a pair of crucial free throws.

Coach Vogel’s decision came after his below-average output in the fourth quarter. Westbrook finished the game with five points on 1-for-10 shooting with six assists and four turnovers. Vogel hopes that the benching will be motivation for Westbrook to turn things around.

“That [fourth quarter] stretch was part of it, I think obviously Russ was having a tough night on both sides of the ball and Bron was really going. So I knew the ball was going to be in Bron’s hands and I felt like we were going to get more from a defensive perspective and off-ball action with Talen, so… You just make tough decisions in the spirit of whatever the team needs to win a game.”

The Lakers landed Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star and 2016-17 NBA MVP, in a blockbuster deal with the Washington Wizards. He was supposed to force a big three with Anthony Davis and LeBron James. However, Davis and James have both missed extended time with injuries, and Westbrook has had an up-and-down campaign.

Westbrook has been benched multiple times this year and this seems to be a repeating affair. We’ll see if Westbrook bounces back strong soon as the Lakers will welcome the Milwaukee Bucks into town on Tuesday.

Anirban Biswas

An Avid Writer And A Songwriter-Composer Who Is No Alien To The Creative Side Of Life. I Set No Boundaries For Myself When It Comes To Exploring Opportunities And Going For It. Always Looking For Opportunities To Grow With Others.

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