Home » NBA News » Darvin Ham will have the power to bench Russell Westbrook if he stays with Lakers, per report

Darvin Ham will have the power to bench Russell Westbrook if he stays with Lakers, per report

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One of the many, many points of contention between Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel was Westbrook’s usage late in games. On a few occasions, Vogel benched Westbrook for crunch time thinking other players had earned the right to close for the Lakers. Westbrook didn’t like that. “I earned the right to be in closing lineups,” he told reporters after one such incident. Vogel lost his job. The only reason Westbrook is still on the team is that nobody else wants him.

It therefore shouldn’t surprise anyone that Vogel’s replacement, Darvin Ham, has been empowered to use Westbrook as he sees fit. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Ham “will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games,” and that power “could eventually extend to removing Westbrook from the starting lineup.” Reports last season indicated that Vogel could have taken that step, but that he feared doing so would risk losing Westbrook’s commitment entirely.

All signs point to both Westbrook and the Lakers seeking a split. The Lakers have openly shopped him in trades, most notably for Kyrie Irving. Westbrook split with his longtime agent, Thad Foucher, due to irreconcilable differences. Foucher said in a statement afterward that he believed Westbrook should accept Ham’s offer to buy into a new role as a more defensive-oriented starter. That suggests that Westbrook would rather continue to play his typical style on another team. To this point, it is not clear if any team would be interested in giving him such control.

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Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/darvin-ham-will-have-the-power-to-bench-russell-westbrook-if-he-stays-with-lakers-per-report/

Author : Sam Quinn

Publish date : 2022-08-03 21:59:39

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2022-08-03

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