Wednesday, May 25 2022

Russell Westbrook isn’t bothered by Magic Johnson’s opinion of his and the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent performance.

Johnson ripped the Lakers after their 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, which marked the second-worst loss of LeBron James’ career.

“After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency,” Johnson, the former team president and Hall of Famer, tweeted. “Owner Jeanie Buss, you deserve better.”

Though Johnson’s Twitter activity shouldn’t always be taken that seriously, for obvious reasons, his scrutiny of the team isn’t far off.

The Lakers have now lost three in a row, including to the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings, and are just 21-22. If the season ended today, the Lakers would have to compete in the play-in tournament to make it into the playoffs.

But Westbrook, at least for now, insists he and his teammates aren’t paying any attention to Johnson’s take.

“I do not have a reaction,” Westbrook said after the loss, via ESPN. “Everybody is entitled, in this world, to their opinion. Regardless of what that it is. You can either take it and run with it or you can take it and put it in one ear and out the other or you cannot respond to it.

“Magic’s entitled to his opinion. And he’s not here every day. He’s not around us every day. He’s not aware of what’s going on internally with us and trying to figure things out. But I have no response to that … Like I said, everyone in this world is entitled to their opinion and that’s that.”

The Lakers struggled against the Nuggets in the second half on Saturday night in Denver. Nikola Jokic produced his eighth triple-double of the season, and the Nuggets held the Lakers to just 17 points in the final quarter. At one point in the final 12 minutes, they had a 42 point lead.

James, who led the Lakers with 25 points and nine rebounds, left the arena right after the loss. This is the first time since his rookie season that his team has a losing record at the 43-game mark, per ESPN.

The Lakers will have a two-game homestand, starting Monday with the Utah Jazz, before taking off on a six-game east coast road trip.

Though frustrating, Westbrook said their issues can actually be fixed rather easily.

“We just got to play hard,” Westbrook said, via ESPN. “Sometimes, the schemes and how you play doesn’t really matter. You got to just play hard sometimes. Teams are playing harder than us, simple as that.”

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles LakersRussell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers

Russell Westbrook does “not have a reaction” to Magic Johnson’s criticism of the Lakers. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo Sports


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