This story first appeared on ClutchPoints.
On Thursday, Westbrook restarted his IG feed by posting an image of him in a Lakers jersey, backed by audio from late Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle (who was a friend of Westbrook’s).
Here was Nipsey’s message:
“Man, I learned when I was younger, like, ‘You can’t put your expectations of me on me. I’m me.’ You feel me? And you’re not gon’ ever make me feel bad for it. You’re not gon’ make me react to how you reacting to me. I don’t care. I’m me. And if I — part of who I am, you know, is disrespectful or is crossing the line or like basic things, Imma check myself. But, you know, we all are individuals. So, for you to think my balance or my ratio — ‘I’m too this or too that and I ain’t got enough of this and enough of that.’ It’s all love. Just keep it to yourself.”
Here’s Westbrook’s post, with the caption “1 of 1”. LeBron, Kent Bazemore, and DeAndre Jordan showed support for Russ’ message in the comments. pic.twitter.com/t6c4hVtQ9n— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) April 28, 2022
Westbrook has until the end of June to opt into his $47 million player option for 2022-2023 — something he’ll assuredly do. The Lakers are expected to part ways with Westbrook, who spent his first season in Los Angeles clashing with coaches, reporters, and fans, and irking his teammates with sloppy play and an unwillingness to adapt his game.
At his exit interview press conference, Westbrook took shots at LeBron and Anthony Davis and blamed the media and Frank Vogel’s coaching staff for his disappointing campaign. Minutes earlier, Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka thanked Russ for his effort but signaled that Westbrook was not a part of the team’s future plans.
If the Lakers can’t find a team willing to take on Westbrook’s massive expiring deal, they can seek a buyout, waive him and stretch his salary over the next three seasons, or send him home and eat the money, a la John Wall.
A few days before the end of the season, Westbrook said the “plan” was for him to return to Los Angeles next season, but acknowledged that “nothing is promised.” – Rappler.com