‘Pelinka Told Bron’: Lakers Fans Shred Russell Westbrook as Buddy Hield Continues to Impress

Published 11/07/2021, 10:50 PM EST
Oct 27, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts after being ejected from the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Paycom Center. Oklahoma City won 123-115. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have always been a franchise that has obsessed over bringing in as much star power to its roster as possible. However, this summer’s offseason has hopefully taught them that just because a player has All-Star and former MVP written all over him, might not mean he can don their jersey and complement LeBron James & Anthony Davis.

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Yes, that’s a subtle attack on Russell Westbrook, who has hardly lived up to all the hype that surrounded him when the Lakers traded for him. And with the way the Lakers’ journey is going till now, fans have started to oppose the purple and gold’s choice of choosing Westbrook over Buddy Hield.

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Should the Lakers have picked Buddy Hield over Russell Westbrook?

The Lakers suffered last season mostly because they lacked a reliable name when LeBron James and even Anthony Davis were out due to injuries. So, they made it a point in the offseason to change that. This led to the deal that helped them bag Russell Westbrook, a decision most fans were extremely thrilled with at the time.

This was a trio that looked extremely good on paper, but that is far from the truth on the court. The Lakers are on a two-game losing streak, are holding a 5-5 record, and are losing games against the easiest of matchups. Whereas the Sacramento Kings might not be any better, holding the same record, but at least Buddy Hield is impressing everyone with his stellar performances.

What suddenly sparked this debate of Hield over Russ, is Buddy’s buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter while playing against the Indiana Pacers. Hield launched the shot from the logo and fans couldn’t get enough.

Though the Kings lost the match, Hield’s performance was stuck in fans’ minds. Thus began the criticism of Westbrook on Twitter.

This comparison will not leave Russ unless he gets back to his Mr. Triplr Double self.

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The Bahamian is shining from the deep

Very early in the offseason, there were rumors that the Lakers were close to sealing a deal with the Kings for Buddy Hield. But instead of going with a man who can shoot from the arc, they went with a household name instead. Which is probably why they are suffering now.

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The Kings are looking like a team trying to end their playoff drought that is going on since 2006. And if they do, Hield will be the biggest reason for it. He is attempting 10.7 three-pointers per game this season, something the Lakers could have benefitted a lot from. But Bron clearly wanted Russ over Hield, and why would the front office ignore the superstar that got them their 2020 NBA championship?

Nov 7, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) goes up for a layup between Indiana Pacers center-forward Myles Turner (33) and forward Torrey Craig (13) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

However, what’s done is done. The Lakers will have to make do with what they have. The only benefit of the doubt that Westbrook can be given is that he still needs more time to adjust to the star-studded roster the Lakers have. But unless he acts fast, the consequences of it could be very severe.

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Do you think he’ll be able to turn the fans’ point of view as the 2021-22 NBA campaign progresses?

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Yashima Bhatia

1748 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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