Is Russell Westbrook trying to send a message to the Lakers?
The All-Star point guard, who has been at the center of trade rumors throughout the NBA offseason, apparently liked and then unliked a tweet that appeared to shade Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
“Lakers win a championship and what they do? Blow up the entire team. Lakers need LeBron [James] to resign and what does owner Jeanie Buss do? Comes out says [Michael] Jordan is the GOAT,” the tweet, which was posted by a Lakers fan account titled “LakeShowYo,” stated.
The fan account claimed Westbrook liked and unliked the tweet, which is not currently on Westbrook’s list of likes on his verified Twitter account.
However, Westbrook’s most recent liked tweet is one from a separate fan account on Aug. 6, which stated the Lakers aren’t using him correctly amid the trade rumors.
“Brodie was getting into a rhythm dealing with all the injuries and lineup changes while not being used right and they want to trade him?” the tweet stated.
It also included Westbrook’s averages from his last 10 games with the Lakers last season, which was: 22 points per game (on 52 percent shooting, including 41.5 percent on 3-pointers), 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 3.4 turnovers.
Westbrook has been at the center of trade talks involving multiple teams after a historically poor debut with Los Angeles last season.
The Lakers, Knicks and Jazz had discussions about a three-team trade that would’ve featured Utah star Donovan Mitchell returning home to New York, and an unceremonious departure from Los Angeles for Westbrook, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto.
Westbrook also split from his longtime agent, Thad Foucher, last month. Foucher said the occurrence was due to “irreconcilable differences” and suggested he and Westbrook were not on the same page over whether the former NBA MVP should stay with the Lakers for the final year of his five-year max contract. Westbrook opted into the final year and $47 million left on his contract with the Lakers in June.
The 33-year-old point guard averaged 18.5 points in 78 games last season — his lowest since his second season in the league in 2009-10 — while also posting a career-worst 15.0 PER (player efficiency rating).
In April, Westbrook blamed former Lakers coach Frank Vogel for his struggles, stating that he believed the coach had an issue with him and that the two “never really connected.”
The Lakers have since hired former Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, who has expressed confidence in Westbrook.