By now, most NBA fans are likely very familiar with the struggles Russell Westbrook has faced in recent years.
The formerly dominant guard was subjected to a tsunami of criticism during his time with the Lakers, and the fact that he was dubbed “Westbrick” shortly after making his debut in Los Angeles tells you basically all you need to know about his shooting woes.
That fairly disastrous experiment officially came to an end last month after Westbrook was moved ahead of the trade deadline prior to agreeing to a contract buyout that resulted in him returning to LA as a member of the Clippers.
While he was obviously hoping to turn things around after getting a fresh start, it appears he’s still facing an uphill battle.
It’s worth noting the .419 field goal percentage Westbrook has posted and the 29.5% he’s shot from beyond the arc this season aren’t drastically lower than the averages he’s posted over the course of his career.
With that said, it’s still pretty clear the man who earned Most Valuable Player honors in 2017 has become a shell of his former self and is grappling with some major confidence issues—a reality that was highlighted by the fairly disrespectful strategy the Warrior resorted to on Thursday night.
The play in question unfolded midway through the first quarter of the showdown between Los Angeles and the Golden State.
While you typically don’t want to leave a guard wide open at the 3-point line in an NBA game, the Warriors did exactly that while Westbrook was running the floor; the closest defender was a solid 15 feet away as Golden State seemingly dared him to pull up.
Westbrook declined to respond to that challenge (which is arguably a sign of growth), but the approach paid off, as the Clippers were unable to score during the sequence.
The Warriors guarding Westbrook oh no pic.twitter.com/iMbrSsIyMk
— Cameron Tabatabaie (@CTabatabaie) March 3, 2023
When everything was said and done, Westbrook posted just 8 points over the course of the 28 minutes he played as the Warriors coasted to a 115-91 win at home.