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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Russell Westbrook skips media availability after being benched

Russell Westbrook dribbles

Russell Westbrook was benched at the end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, and he was not happy about it.

Westbrook shot 5-17 and scored 14 points in 27 minutes during the Lakers’ loss on Wednesday. Westbrook made a 3-pointer with 6:33 left to make it a 5-point game. Then he committed a foul a minute and a half later, and he was replaced by Malik Monk with 3:52 left. The Lakers were losing by seven when he exited and lost by the same margin.

Westbrook never came back into the game after being subbed out for Monk.

After the game, the veteran guard was dismayed and did not speak with reporters.

LeBron James apparently indicated Westbrook was not happy about his benching.

This reaction from Westbrook is to be expected. He was steamed and in no mood to talk to reporters, though he should face them regardless. Obviously he’s upset, and he’s pulled this move before.

Westbrook has been taking heat for weeks over his poor play and poor fit with the Lakers. Getting benched late in the game is the cherry on top of a bad season. There’s almost no turning back once that happens.

Photo: Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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