Veteran Washington Post columnist and ESPN talker Tony Kornheiser has covered the NBA for decades now. And when he looks at what happened with the Lakers this week, especially with the dynamics between coach Frank Vogel and star guard Russell Westbrook, he is taking a contrarian stance.
Most think Vogel was absolutely justified in benching Westbrook for the final 3:52 of the team’s loss to Indiana on Wednesday. Westbrook was 5-for-17 shooting, after all, and the Lakers’ backcourt was having no luck containing Pacers guard Caris LeVert, who lit up L.A. with 20 fourth-quarter points.
As Vogel bluntly explained: “Playing the guys that I thought were going to win the game.” The implication being that Westbrook was not among the guys who were going to win the game.
But for Kornheiser. This amounted to a slap in the face to a proud veteran whose bust will one day reside in Springfield, Mass.