Frank Vogel resisting Lakers push to demote Russell Westbrook

Frank Vogel is feeling the pressure to demote Russell Westbrook, with a push coming from within the Lakers organization to play the superstar off the bench, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Vogel, however, has “resisted” making the move.

The Lakers’ blockbuster deal for Westbrook has been a disaster, with the team falling below .500 and the mercurial star at the center of many issues. Westbrook has struggled to play without the ball in his hands and mesh with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a star-studded lineup.

Despite beating Golden State on the back of 56 points from LeBron James on Saturday, the Lakers are 28-35, sitting in ninth in the Western Conference, with a 4-11 record in their last 15 games.

“We have discussions, just like the front office has thousands of trade discussions every deadline, and they don’t discuss every one of those,” Vogel told reporters Friday afternoon. “Most of them don’t come to fruition. And that’s where we’re at with Russ. Is there a path where that’s the better option? We’ve talked about everything we can do with our team.

“We’re not there.”

Lakers Russell Westbrook
There’s been a push within the Lakers for Frank Vogel (l.) to take Russell Westbrook (r.) out of the starting lineup.
AP
Lakers Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook during the Lakers’ win over the Warriors on March 5, 2022.
AP

The 33-year old Westbrook is averaging 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists on 43.4 percent shooting from the field.

The Lakers next play on Monday, starting a two-game Texas road trip in San Antonio.

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