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#pounditSaturday, September 30, 2023

Report: Frank Vogel resisting key change to Russell Westbrook’s status

Russell Westbrook during a game

The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to find a solution to their ongoing Russell Westbrook issue, though sentiment within the organization appears to be growing toward one drastic step.

There is an “increasing push” within the Lakers organization to demote Westbrook from the starting lineup and bring him off the bench, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. However, Lakers coach Frank Vogel has refused to give in to that pressure so far.

Vogel’s position has even put him at odds with some of his own coaches, and that situation has also led to some tension between Vogel and Westbrook. Part of the issue is simply frustration, as the Lakers sit at 28-35 and look nowhere near contending for a title.

Westbrook has struggled to adapt to playing with LeBron James and having to work off the ball more than he ever has. While the veteran guard has not shied away from self-criticism, he has also hinted that he would not be accepting of a bench role. That has put Vogel and the Lakers in a real bind, but they may have no choice but to make a drastic change.

Photo: Nov 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts during the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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