The Lakers are at somewhat of a crossroads all over their organization right now. A team built for winning, this season has not played out the way that any of them had hoped. Struggling to keep their heads above the .500 mark is hardly a success, especially with a storied franchise like this.
But they're at a crossroads in every sense of the word. The Lakers are struggling with the direction they're heading on Frank Vogel, and there is every reason to believe that his job is in jeopardy.
But they are also sort of at an odd place with Russell Westbrook. The Lakers' upper management reportedly gave Vogel the go-ahead to coach Westbrook how he sees fit, which included benching him late in the loss to the Pacers.
Fans are obviously upset, and they have every right to be. But this little tidbit from Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus should take a little bit of the onus off of Vogel, who has really been under fire.
“Rob Pelinka is the team’s vice president of basketball operations and general manager. The decision ultimately falls on his resume. But sources also say that James was a significant proponent for getting Westbrook. Does he bear any responsibility if he and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, applied significant pressure on the team to get it done?"
It's not much of a surprise since LeBron helps to make decisions on every team he is a part of. With a player of his generational talent, you bring on pieces to support him, and that's what they did with Russ.
Unfortuantely, that has not worked out the way LeBron or the Lakers had hoped. Russ is putting up just 18.5 points per game and his three-point range has really fallen off. While the tunovers have been down recently, his production has also dipped massively.
But Russ is here with his massive contract, and the Lakers will need to figure it out.