Russell Westbrook on Frank Vogel: ‘Not sure what his issue was with me’

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook yells during a game.
Russell Westbrook was the Lakers’ only healthy superstar this season, playing in 78 or their 82 games.
(Andy Clayton-King / Associated Press)

Former All-Star guard Russell Westbrook echoed a continuing theme Monday afternoon as the Lakers went through exit interviews, saying his play and that of the team was disappointing.

Westbrook played in 78 of the Lakers’ 82 games and was at his best toward the end of the season, which ended Sunday with an overtime victory in Denver. Coach Frank Vogel was fired earlier in the day.

“It obviously wasn’t a successful season by any means,” Westbrook said. “My play in general, not my best season.”


Earlier Monday, Lakers executive and general manager Rob Pelinka said there was plenty of blame to spread around for the front office, coaches and players.

“We had a very disappointing season. That will not be the case next year,” he said.

When asked about his relationship with Vogel, who at times during the season benched Westbrook for the fourth quarter of games, he replied: “I’m not sure what his issue was with me.

On the same day that LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, GM Rob Pelinka and others address the media, the Lakers fire coach Frank Vogel. Read more here.

April 11, 2022

“When I first got here, I just felt that I never was given a fair chance just to be who I need to be to better help this team.”

Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game this season while shooting 44.4% from the field and 29.8% from three-point range, all near his career averages except scoring, which was down more than three points a game.

In the 15 games before the Lakers’ postseason elimination, Westbrook seemed to find his place amid the Lakers’ chaos, averaging 19.9 points on 49.4% shooting.