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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Report: Russell Westbrook nearly left the court after benching

Russell Westbrook dribbles

During a 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers benched Russell Westbrook.

That decision caused immediate outrage. Westbrook skipped his media availability and promptly left the arena. Charles Barkley ripped the team for scapegoating and almost immediately trade rumors began to surface.

After taking a day to calm down, Westbrook used a soft-ish tone to describe his disappointment.

“Surprised, yes. I was disappointed I didn’t go back in, but I’m more disappointed that we lost the damn game,” Westbrook told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As calm as Westbrook appeared in that moment, he wasn’t at the time of his benching. In fact, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports that Westbrook nearly stormed off the court.

The 33-year-old point guard nearly left the floor after he was subbed out for Malik Monk,but teammate DeAndre Jordan shepherded him back. Westbrook watched the next few minutes unfold, apparently jawing from the bench with his jersey untucked, although exactly what was said (and at whom) is still unclear.

The relationship between Westbrook and the Lakers is undeniably deteriorating. And at this point, there may be no going back for either side. A parting of ways almost seems necessary and would likely benefit each side equally.

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