Following the firing of Frank Vogel as head coach, Lakers PG Russell Westbrook sounded off on the relationship—or lack thereof—between the two.

“I think it’s unfortunate, to be honest, because I’ve never had an issue with any of my coaches before,” Westbrook said after his exit interview. “I’m not sure what his issue was with me or I’m not sure why, but I can’t really give you an answer to why we really never connected.”

Westbrook didn’t reserve his animosity for his former coach in the 21-minute news conference.

“When I first got here, the ability to be able to do what I’m able to do for a team and an organization wasn’t given a fair chance,” he said.


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“The famous ‘source’ stories that came out about myself, whether it be between me and the staff, me and Frank, me and the fans, there’s just so many made-up stories that are not true,” he added. “It’s just always having to fight against that constantly. It’s just not [being] given a fair chance. It’s like, ‘Ok, now I got to fight against this made-up story. Now I got to fight against this one. Now I go to fight against this one. Now I got to fight against this one.’”

“No,” Westbrook said when asked to give an example, “I can’t. You know the examples. I don’t want to get in details, what story, who wrote it, why … it’s pointless. It really doesn’t matter because it’s not true. If it doesn’t come from me [it is not true].”

Westbrook has a player option for next season at $47 million, but team brass said they’ll assess the situation when the time comes.

“Like any player, we’ll partner with him after that decision is made about what’s best for his future,” Lakers VP of basketball operations and GM Rob Pelinka said. “Rest assured, we’re going to look under every stone for ways to be better and be open to anything that will improve our team and will put us in a position to compete at a higher level next year than we did this year.”

Westbrook played in 78 games and averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game.

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