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Frank Vogel has brutal response about benching Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter

Joshua Rogers January 20, 2022
frank vogel benching russell westbrook
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Lakers suffered another disappointing loss on Thursday and their former MVP failed to shine again. However, Frank Vogel’s response about benching Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter was particularly brutal.

Russell Westbrook has always been a polarising figure, with many questioning whether his style could translate into winning basketball. Lakers fans were high on the former MVP when he first moved to LA, but it’s safe to say his time so far has been underwhelming.

Some have even suggested trading him, as he struggles to play well next to LeBron. Pressure is mounting on the point guard, which hasn’t been helped by Frank Vogel’s latest comments.

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Frank Vogel’s brutal response about benching Westbrook in the fourth quarter

The Lakers put in yet another disappointing display on Thursday, losing 104-111 to the Indiana Pacers. Westbrook, in particular, struggled, shooting 29.4% from three-point range. In total, he shot just 5-of-17 from the field while contributing a measly two rebounds and three assists.

With 3:52 left in the game, Frank Vogel had seen enough and decided to bench Westbrook for the rest of the game.

After the game, Frank Vogel explained to reporters why he benched Westbrook. It was a brutal response as Vogel said he was “playing the guys I thought were going to win the game”. Ouch!

LeBron’s response was even more incredible

LeBron James knows things aren’t going well. The loss to the Pacers dropped LA under .500 for the season once again, with the team showing no sign of improvement.

According to NBC LA writer Michael J Duarte, LeBron’s response to Westbrook’s benching was even more incredible than Vogel’s. When asked about it, LeBron reportedly said: “I’m going to the movies with my wife, man. I gotta go.”

Frank Vogel has been the scapegoat for the Lakers’ troubles recently and his job has been under threat, according to reports. However, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports!: “Los Angeles Lakers will not be making a personnel move at this juncture and Frank Vogel will travel with the team tomorrow to coach in Orlando on Friday.”

It would be foolish to write Westbrook off at this point but it’s clear he’s been massively underwhelming so far. A trade has been mooted but, according to an LA Times report, “appetite is low” because of his huge contract.

What’s clear is the Lakers need to turn things around, and quick.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.