Skip to main content

Jeanie Buss Makes Her Opinion On Russell Westbrook Very Clear

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, 
by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Some Lakers fans might be down on Russell Westbrook, but owner Jeanie Buss definitely isn't.

Buss recently sat down with Sam Amick of The Athletic for a wide-ranging interview on the state of the franchise. During the conversation, Buss shared an eye-opening take on Westbrook, Los Angeles' much-maligned guard.

"All I can say is that, from my point of view, (Westbrook) was our best player last year," Buss said. "He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard. You know, I would have loved to have seen what this team would have looked like if they stayed healthy. It’s really tough to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the court. LeBron was hurt a lot of the season. But Russ showed up every game and played hard every night. And, you know, I just really appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the team."

Amick noted that he was taken aback by Buss' comments, so much so that he texted her later to ask about her assessment of Russ being the team's best player.

"The word I should have used was ‘consistent,’” Buss responded. “He played 78 games last season.”

There's an old adage in sports that the best ability is availability, and that appears to be what Buss is getting at here.

The problem with Westbrook is that while he did still compete on a nightly basis last year, his scoring average dipped below 20 points per game for the first time in over a decade, and he shot the ball poorly from the perimeter. 

There's been endless talk about LA trying to find a trade partner for Westbrook this offseason, though it sounds like Jeanie Buss isn't necessarily in a rush to let him go.