Report: Russell Westbrook, Darvin Ham had heated locker room exchange
Darvin Ham reportedly became frustrated with Russell Westbrook during the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, and the head coach did not hide his emotions.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ham and Westbrook had a “heated verbal exchange” in the locker room during halftime of the Lakers’ 133-130 loss to OKC. Ham was unhappy with how slow Westbrook was getting off the floor late in the second quarter after the coach subbed him out. He called Westbrook out during halftime, which reportedly led to the two raising their voices.
The discussion eventually turned back to a productive one, and Wojnarowski notes that Ham and Westbrook were seen exchanging a handshake after the game.
Voices were raised in locker room, but discussion turned back to trying to win game vs. Thunder, sources said. Ham closed game with Westbrook, who had a season-high 14 points in fourth quarter. Ham and Westbrook dapped up prior to leaving arena later in night. https://t.co/8cch24Sgbq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2023
Westbrook has come off the bench in all but three games this season. He is averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game. The 34-year-old is a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
That does not mean Westbrook has been thrilled with the role, however. The Lakers are 25-30 and once again appear to be miles from championship contention. Westbrook is said to have called out L.A.’s coaches during a game last month, so he has certainly had other moments of frustration this season.
Westbrook’s brother also caused a stir over the weekend with some anti-Lakers social media activity.
There was once again talk of Westbrook potentially being traded when the Lakers showed interest in Kyrie Irving, but Irving ended up with the Dallas Mavericks. It does not seem like Westbrook is going anywhere ahead of Thursday’s deadline, though that could change if there are lingering issues between him and Ham.