Frank Vogel was allowed to keep Russell Westbook on the bench at the end of games if it was best for the team, and he sometimes did. He didn’t do it more often for fear of losing Westbrook completely. Instead, he lost his job.
Currently Darwin Ham will take the big seat with the Lakers, and it looks like he’ll have to deal with Westbrook at least early in the season. Ham will also have the right to bench Westbrook at the end of games if it’s better for the team to win. reported by Jovan Buha in The Athletic.
According to league sources, Lakers head coach Darwin Ham will have more options to replace Westbrook throughout the game. (Former head coach Frank Vogel did this several times last season.) This could eventually lead to Westbrook being removed from the starting lineup.
Buha wisely states that Westbrook may shut down some games for the Lakers, depending on matchups and needs. If you need to create a shot, it must be on the site. If the Lakers need to be stopped…there may be better options.
The real challenge for Ham is to get Westbrook interested, get him involved and make sacrifices for the team if he doesn’t shut down or start games. It was always Vogel’s biggest fear that things could get worse, which is why Ham brought up Westbrook in his first press conference. Ham is a stronger personality, but if Westbrook mentally checks, there is little anyone can do (this team already has LeBron James on him as head of the locker room).
The Lakers’ preferred option would be for Ham to figure out how to fit in with the team. Kyrie Irving in rotation – or maybe Buddy Heald as well as Miles Turner – but so far it looks like Russell Westbrook will be in the camp. How Ham uses and gets through to Westbrook determines how good the Lakers are (along with how healthy and interested they are). Anthony Davis is).