In a rare interview, Russell Westbrook spoke with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN about his fourth quarter benching in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
“Surprised, yes,” said Westbrook when asked if Frank Vogel’s decision was a surprise. “I was disappointed I didn’t go back in, but I’m more disappointed that we lost the damn game.
“I want to be able to be on the floor to help my teammates and be able to help our team win in games like that — but that was a decision that was made.”
Westbrook wanted to make clear he’s committed to making it work with the Lakers.
“Ultimately, you have to be OK when s— doesn’t go well, and I’m OK,” Westbrook told ESPN. “I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me here, and I’ll continue to do so and ride this out as long as we can toward our ultimate goal — and that’s to win a championship.
“We obviously haven’t been fully healthy, but I’m committed to making this thing work. The communication is there with everybody in the organization to make this thing work, to make this team we all want it to be in the future.
“I have accepted everything that has been asked of me and tried to do it to the best of my ability. I’m not the ultimate decision-maker of if it’s working — or if it’s not working. I’m OK with sacrificing some of the things that I’ve been able to do in this game to win, because that’s the most important part of this game. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do to this point.”