Russell Westbrook’s willingness to talk to a teammate says a lot about him

Lakers’ Russell Westbrook says coming off bench played a role in hamstring injury By Nick Friedell A Lakers fan was thrilled as Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup after missing six games with a…

Russell Westbrook’s willingness to talk to a teammate says a lot about him

Lakers’ Russell Westbrook says coming off bench played a role in hamstring injury

By Nick Friedell

A Lakers fan was thrilled as Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup after missing six games with a hamstring injury.

Then the former MVP asked Lakers forward Julius Randle what he saw, and Randle’s answer shocked Westbrook.

“I think he saw that I was standing in front of the bench,” Randle told The Athletic.

“I was telling him a little bit about what happened with my hamstring and all, and he didn’t say anything. I think, personally, it just made me a little upset because he’s already done what we all want him to do. He’s earned more playing minutes, so he’s already accomplished this goal, but, to say nothing, it felt like he just made it all about himself.

“I just think it was a disappointing moment for him.”

So why did Westbrook, coming off a breakout season and the best season of his career, go to his locker after the game and take some time to speak with Randle?

“I went there because it felt like he was the one that needed to talk, and he was the one that needed to hear,” Randle told The Athletic. “So now we’re moving on and just focusing on the season.”

On a team that relies on one of the league’s most feared scorers, that Westbrook is willing to go to the bench to talk to a teammate says a lot about him and his style. But if Randle is right, Westbrook really is looking to help another teammate.

“It’s never a time where you really give up on things, but it’s just a time where he took a step back and tried to focus on the team,” Randle said. “He is very coachable, and he’s really good at communication and stuff like that. He doesn’t need the spotlight or the time away from the game.”

Westbrook has played fewer than 37 minutes in

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