The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly internally blaming LeBron James for pushing for a Russell Westbrook trade, per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Last summer, James reached out to Westbrook and the two players had mutual interest in playing together in Los Angeles.
When James showed interest in playing alongside Westbrook, the Lakers went out and struck a deal with the Washington Wizards. The Lakers set the NBA title as the expectation going into this season but they didn't even make the playoffs.
Now, as the Lakers prepare for a summer that will likely see them make a number of roster changes, many are trying to figure out why this season ended in a disaster for the Lakers. “The blame internally appears to be focused on injuries, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James for pressuring the team to trade for Westbrook,” Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report wrote.
Westbrook on his future
After the Lakers were officially eliminated from the playoffs contention, Westbrook suggested he would be open to returning for the next season. "I mean, that's the plan. But nothing is promised," Westbrook said.
"Yes, we want to be able to see what that looks like, what that entails over the course of an 82-game season. But we're not sure if that's guaranteed, either. So I just hope that we have a chance to be able to do something."
Carmelo Anthony, who was one of the signings the Lakers made last summer, kept it honest when assessing their season. "We just didn't get it done," Anthony said of the Lakers' season after the game. "We had the tools.
Some things were out of our control -- some things we could control, some things we couldn't. And it's nothing else more than we didn't get it done. You can't make no excuses about it. We just didn't get it done."
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis blamed injuries for their disastrous season. "Our goal was to win a championship," Davis acknowledged. "Feel like we had the pieces, but injuries got in the way of that. And that was the difference in the season.
I think even though we lost games where all of us was on the floor -- me, Bron, Russ -- I think we're three great players, but we would have figured it out if we logged more minutes together. But we weren't able to do that, which makes it tough to be able to compete for a championship when your three best players haven't logged enough minutes together."