“He’s going to fall over your head if you don’t watch him…I don’t think he’s working hard on his game because that fashion thing is bigger”

Many will be watching to see what Russell Westbrook does this season after a disastrous 2021-22 season. After an offseason full of trade speculation, it looks like the Lakers will at least give him another chance to find his groove with the team.

But analyst Skip Bayless isn’t convinced a revamped Westbrook will appear.

“Russell Westbrook doesn’t toe the line,” Bayless said in “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.” “He just doesn’t. He wasn’t born in line. He’ll fall on your head if you don’t look at him, but he won’t fall in line behind you.

“So what do I know about Russ? I think he works hard on his conditioning in the offseason. I don’t think he works hard on his game, because I think fashion is more important. C is more important to him than basketball.”

Acquired by the LA Lakers last summer in a trade with the Washington Wizards, Westbrook was expected to be the missing ingredient for a title chase. But the season turned out to be a rude awakening for the point guard. He’s seen a rapid decline in his game, averaging less than 20 points per game for the first time since 2009-10.

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Will Russell Westbrook silence the critics in 2022-23?

LA Lakers forward LeBron James, left, and guard Russell Westbrook
LA Lakers forward LeBron James, left, and guard Russell Westbrook

Many skeptics have called out Russell Westbrook for his play last season. When Westbrook was acquired by the LA Lakers, the idea was that he would complement Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

The truth was, it was a brutal slump before the star trio took the field together. Westbrook has always been his most effective when given the freedom to run the show and asked to play behind other players.

Throughout his career, Westbrook has been praised for his competitive spirit and passion on the court. It was clear that these were missing last year, which may suggest that there was more going on behind the scenes than expected.

For the Lakers to have a chance of making the playoffs after going 33-49 last year, they’re going to need someone to step in. Westbrook looks like he has the chance to prove his worth to start the year, but time is running out.

Westbrook, who turns 33 in November, is in the final year of his contract, paying him $47 million this season.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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