Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has been in the headlines for the past few weeks and for the worst possible reasons. Aside from his extremely awkward encounter with LeBron James during the Las Vegas Summer League tournament, Westbrook also raised some eyebrows after cutting ties with his longtime agent Thad Foucher. The split between the player and agent was so bad that Foucher went out of his way to spill the dirty laundry.
Russ isn't buying in
According to Foucher, he wanted Westbrook to stay in Los Angeles, buy into what new head coach Darvin Ham wanted him to do, and adjust his game, even if that means coming from the bench. Foucher then said that Westbrook didn't agree to this, and based on ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's reporting, it seems the 9-time All-Star does not want to change for the Lakers' sake.
"My belief is that this type of transaction only serves to diminish Russell's value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and support that Darvin Ham publicly offered. Russell is a first-ballot Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame player and will prove that again before he is retired," Foucher said, as reported by Wojnarowski.
"Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best," Foucher added.
Wojnarowski's reporting was then backed up by The Athletic's Lakers beat writer Jovan Buha, who said that Westbrook doesn't want to adhere to what Ham wants him to be, which is be a defensive-first point guard (ala Jrue Holiday) who will play more off the ball and be a role player alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
After months of Ham defending and talking about his visions for the point guard, it's unfortunate that Westbrook doesn't seem committed to the first-time head coach.
A Westbrook-Lakers divorce remains a must
If Westbrook does not want to commit to Ham's vision for him, then there is absolutely no point for the Lakers to retain their $47 million point guard. Los Angeles can no longer afford to throw away another LeBron James season.
Remember, this is the same Russell Westbrook who the Lakers reportedly requested to get his hands checked out because of how many layups he was missing, how terrible his turnovers were, and his detrimental his ball handling and shooting issues were.
If the Lakers thought that Ham could somehow get Westbrook to buy into his system, philosophies and turn him into a player that they need safe to say they can throw those plans out of the window. Westbrook has made it clear he's not going to adjust for anyone but himself.