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Jeanie Buss clarifies her bizarre comments about Russell Westbrook

Jeanie Buss looking on

Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jeanie Buss sounded like she was living on the planet Saturn with her latest comments about Russell Westbrook.

The Los Angeles Lakers owner Buss spoke this week to Sam Amick of The Athletic for a lengthy interview. At one point during the interview, Buss offered a defense of Westbrook that almost read like sketch comedy.

“All I can say is that, from my point of view, [Westbrook] was our best player last year,” said Buss. “He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard. I would have loved to have seen what this team would have looked like if they stayed healthy. It’s really tough to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the court. LeBron [James] was hurt a lot of the season. But Russ showed up every game and played hard every night. And, you know, I just really appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the team.”

You can read Buss’ full interview, in which she touches on several other topics of interest with the Lakers, here.

Of course, Westbrook’s debut season with the Lakers was a rotting dumpster blaze by just about any definition. He averaged his fewest points per game in over a decade, yet still hijacked the offense from James and Davis with his awful shot selection and momentum-killing play. Westbrook was such a disaster that, at one point, the team began wondering if something was wrong with his hands or eyes.

Buss’ comments here thus led to a lot of double-takes … including from the interviewer himself. Amick said that, after the interview was finished, he texted Buss for clarification on her shocking take about Westbrook.

“The word I should have used was ‘consistent,’” Buss responded to him in a text. “He played 78 games last season.”

In any case, Buss is probably just trying to play nice with Westbrook since it looks like he may still be on the Lakers’ roster come the start of the season. The team has been trying to trade Westbrook and the $47.1 million remaining on his contract all summer but to no avail.

It is hard to determine Buss’ true feelings about Westbrook though. Here, she offered such outlandish, unicorns-and-rainbows praise of Westbrook that nobody in their right mind would actually believe it. But in another recent interview, she seemed to snub Westbrook altogether.


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