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    “He was the heartbeat of the team,” Patrick Beverley criticizes the Los Angeles Lakers and Darvin Ham for benching Rusell Westbrook

    September 2, 2023

     

    Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook had a long-standing feud and people were excited to see how they both will play together during their time at the Los Angeles Lakers. However to everyone’s surprise they became good buddies last season. They played together for five months for the Lakers before they were traded away ahead of the February trade deadline.

    Lakers coach Darvin Ham used Westbrook as the sixth as Brodie used to come off the bench and became one of NBA’s best sixth man. Recently on Gil’s podcast, Pat Bev shared his thoughts on using Westbrook as a sixth man of the team.

    “There’s ways how to operate your team without overmanaging it. When coaching, sometimes you just gotta put the dominoes out there. … I thought it was [bad for the team]. I thought it was bad for Russ [to come off the bench]. He was the heartbeat of the team,” he stated.

    Former NBA player Kenyon Martin who was one of the guests at the show, also reiterated the same. “That’s a horrible decision! Let’s just call it what it is.”

    Beverley felt that more than a decision, it was a call that was taken based on Westbrook’s first season with the Lakers where he had an outrage with then-head coach Frank Vogel following their elimination in the play-in.

    “I don’t think it was a decision that was made this year. I think it was a decision that was based on the season before and I don’t think that’s fair. [Based on] the slander that he was getting, the Frank Vogel [issue],” Beverley added.

    Brodie lashed out at his former coach Frank Vogel and the other star players including Anthony Davis and LeBron James for not letting him succeed.

    The following season things changed and Darvin Ham replaced Vogel, he brought in Beverley which caused a huge uproar. But Pat Bev and Westbrook became buddies but the point guard didn’t like the fact that Ham had pushed Westbrook out of the starting lineup and would use him from the bench.

    Westbrook’s stats improved and the overall team functioned way better. He even became a contender to win the Sixth Man of the Year award. However, the Lakers were still struggling. Eventually, Rob Pelinka shipped Westbrook away to the Utah Jazz on a three-year deal and he agreed to a buyout and later signed for the LA Clippers.

    Before the 2022-23 season, Westbrook had always been a starter barring his rookie season. So it was difficult for him to adjust as he started only three of the 52 games that he featured in for the Lakers in his second season.

    Beverley felt that Westbrook should have been a nailed-on starter. He even went on to say that Ham made a wrong decision. “Him [Westbrook] coming off the bench and I’m starting. … It was just a bad combination. They should have started me, Austin [Reaves], Russ, Bron [James] and AD [Davis]. That’s how it should have started. Obviously, I’m not the coach but that should have been the starting lineup since we walked into the door,” he concluded.

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