Did Jeanie Buss snub Russell Westbrook in recent interview?
Ask Jeanie Buss about Russell Westbrook, and you might just get a one-word response — “Who?”
The Los Angeles Lakers owner Buss spoke this week to Tyler R. Tynes of GQ in a wide-ranging interview. During a discussion about the coming season, Buss name-dropped several Lakers players, including stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. She even mentioned Kendrick Nunn and gave a nod to some of the team’s new youngsters.
“We changed coaches [to head coach Darvin Ham], so that’s a new voice,” said Buss. “And we are continuing to, hopefully, stay injury-free. We want to see Anthony Davis stay on the floor and be healthy the whole season. When you have Anthony and LeBron [James], there’s a lot of great things that can happen. But you have to have a supporting cast of players that can fill roles and also stay injury free.
“We have Kendrick Nunn coming back after missing last season, and a lot of young players,” Buss continued. “I can name names, but until we see how they play there really isn’t, we have to give Darvin Ham all of the time and resources he needs to put the team together to see how they move forward.
Buss touches on many other interesting topics, including HBO’s “Winning Time” series, James’ recent extension with the Lakers, and more, in the GQ interview. You can read it in full here.
But at no point in the above quote (or elsewhere in the entire interview) did Buss even once mention the embattled Lakers guard Westbrook. Assuming Westbrook, a former NBA MVP, is still on the roster next season, he figures to be a significant factor for the Lakers (either as a contributor on the court or as a complicating factor that the team has to work around). Perhaps Buss no longer envisions Westbrook as being part of the picture.
The Lakers did just trade for a notorious Westbrook enemy, leading to some speculation that the team may be trying to push out the 33-year-old guard. Westbrook also recently “liked” a post on Twitter that contained a criticism of Buss, so their relationship is probably not the best right now either.