Russell Westbrook sends strong message to haters (WATCH)

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Russell Westbrook sends strong message to haters (WATCH)

Russell Westbrook appears to be set to return to the Los Angeles Lakers next season and on Tuesday he seemingly sent a message to his haters. As Westbrook was driving his car, he could be seen singing and dancing to Beyonce's "Break My Soul." Minutes later, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Westbrook had informed the Lakers about his decision to exercise his $47.1 million player option for the next year.

Westbrook didn't have a memorable first year in Los Angeles and Lakers fans were voicing their frustration with the star guard throughout the entire season. "You won't break my soul!" Russ sang over and over again. "I'm telling everybody!"

Westbrook will have to be a 'defense-first' player

Last week, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka made it clear Westbrook was informed he would have to be a defense-first player if he returned to the team next season.

Now, with Westbrook picking up his player option, he knows what the Lakers want from him. “Russ has a decision to make about his option. He earned that in his contract just with his play and when he negotiated that contract originally,” Pelinka said.

"I think Darvin [Ham] and I have had meetings with Russ and have just been honest about how we think he fits with this team and what we expect of him next year if he decided to opt in and be here. He’s ready to embrace philosophy of defense-first as well and he’s made that clear to Darvin and me.

If he chooses to come back. But he hasn’t given a final decision on that yet. He has more days to figure all that out with his family. But if he comes back, he will be embraced here with open arms and want to put a path in front of him to have a successful season”.

The Lakers are reportedly optimistic they can make the trio of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis work with with the new coaching staff. After the Lakers' season ended, the Lakers dismissed Frank Vogel as their head coach.

"I think it's unfortunate, to be honest, because I've never had an issue with any of my coaches before," Westbrook said during his exit interview after the Lakers' season ended. "I'm not sure what his issue was with me or I'm not sure why, but I can't really give you an answer to why we really never connected." Westbrook didn't get along well with Vogel but he and new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham are reportedly off to a good start.