“The needs of the team always come first”: Frank Vogel’s rigid opinion suggests friction between Lakers and Russell Westbrook increases more than ever

Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel in an interview before their match against the Trailblazers stated that he isn’t really willing to let Russell Westbrook close the games for them, despite what he has achieved in the league.

Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook
Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel had a few strong statements to make in regards to Russell Westbrook’s pleas appeals, or you could rather say, desires of closing the game for the team, stating that he has done enough in order to prove that he is worthy of doing that for the team.

Frank Vogel who was in the pre-match interview before the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trailblazers was asked a good deal of questions regarding his opinions about the Lakers’ embarrassing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks the previous night, his opinions regarding playing back-to-back matches and how it changes their perspective after the kind of loss they faced, and questions regarding one of the most highly discussed or rather criticized players in the league Russell Westbrook, along with the questions about this season’s NBA Trade Deadline which is right around the corner.

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

With all that was being spoke, Frank had really strong remarks in regards to the question asked by a reporter about Russell’s remarks, where in he wanted to close the games for the Lakers.

Let us take a closer look into this sequence and what Frank Vogel had to say about Westbrook, and the team overall.

Frank Vogel in no mood to entertain Russell Westbrook’s whims

Frank Vogel and Russel Westbrook
Frank Vogel and Russel Westbrook

In the pre match interview with a plenty of questions being asked to Frank Vogel, which is pretty obvious after the kind of performances they have shown lately and throughout the season, there came a question regarding how back-to-back matches affect the team’s mindset after a tough loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In response to the question, Frank Vogel stated that it is always good to have back-to-back matches after such tough losses as unlike other days when there are huge gaps between the matches, the team doesn’t have to sit with bitter feelings for a really long time and all the bitterness vanishes away to some extent due to the pressure and preparation of another match. The best part Frank feels about the situation they are in is that they don’t have to sit with a sour loss due to the benefit of having back-to-back matches.

In response to the question asked about the changes in the Portland team they were going to face, Frank said that it is always a tough task to play against those teams who have players trying to make a place for themselves in the starters, as they are the ones who always go hard and go all in to prove themselves. These are the players according to Vogel who hustle all over the court and it could be a tough task for the Lakers in a back-to-back match, and the only important thing for them is to have the right mindset to get the W.

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Then was the time Vogel was asked the most important question, about Russell Westbrook’s desires to close the games for the Lakers stating that he had done enough to prove himself in order to be identified as being worthy of doing that, following which Vogel was also asked about how difficult it is to manage a player’s desires which are stark opposites to the team’s interests, to which Vogel seemed to have a firm/straightforward answer, which clearly stated his opinions on this issue.


Vogel said, “Well, the needs of the team always come first” following which Vogel said, “Russ [Westbrook] has accomplished a lot in the team and he has had some great sequences for us here, but my job is to win games, and when you get in those situations you have a script of who you think is gonna be in there and the game will tell you otherwise… and we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the Lakers a win, and sometimes he’s gonna be in there for that, and sometimes he’s not”

Despite what Westbrook feels, Vogel has made his intentions clear and the Lakers management doesn’t seem to be submitting to anyone’s desires at this point where they have struggled so badly.

Take a look at a few of the reactions Twitter had to Vogel’s statements.

Twitter reacts to Frank Vogel’s remarks on Russell Westbrook.

Despite the multiple combinations they have tried and all the statements they have made, the Lakers seem to be struggling badly as they lost another match to the Trailblazers despite Westbrook not being there in the team.
Now, we wait and see what the Lakers think of going ahead with, and what happens before the trade deadline.

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