The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 11th place in the Western Conference standings after allowing 82 first-half points to the Dallas Mavericks last night en route to yet another loss. With LeBron James' health up in the air, the wheels could go flying off in four different directions at any point. During the postgame media sessions Russell Westbrook was asked by the Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner if anything changes or needs to change now that the Lakers are outside looking into the playoff picture.
After saying "nothing," Westbrook turned the question around to Turner with the exact type of body language everyone loves, especially when the team is losing. It wasn't the best question in the world but after 75 regular season games, it gets difficult to knock everyone out of the ballpark. But one could argue it was exactly the right query because Westbrook's response reveals way more about his mindset than a cliched answer.
“I’m only one person, champ,” Westbrook said at one point. “It’s a team game. So I don’t have an answer. You can give me your answer.”
“I don’t have it,” Turner replied. “But I’m asking the pro who knows the game, plays the game, what you think you can do to make it better.”
The exchange was so enjoyed by the masses that Robert Horry video called Turner live on-air during the Lakers postgame show.
It doesn't feel right to sell this exchange with hyperbolic language. It does seem fair to point that there are a lot of people out there who would be willing to conjure a less combative response to every single thing that comes their way in exchange for $44 million per year. Of course, those people have never been in the pressure-cooker that is the public eye.
Good news for those who delight in this type of awkwardness and bad news for those who do not: something like this is bound to happen again as the Lakers' year slips away. A benign question will set Westbrook off, there will be mean-mugging and eye-rolling and everyone will retreat to their respective corners.
One wonders how many people will be left in Westbrook's after a disastrous year on the court exacerbated by drama off of it.