Russell Westbrook Blames Latest Injury On Coming Off Bench, Not Knowing How To 'Stay Warm'

It took exactly one game for Russell Westbrook to stir up drama within the Lakers organization. The once electrifying hooper-turned-serial complainer's latest issue involves coming off the bench, which he claims caused his latest injury.

The Lakers ran what they called a 'test' for their preseason finale against the Sacramento Kings last week in which Westbrook came off the bench to play with the second unit. Westbrook suffered a hamstring strain in the game.


Despite being put back in the starting lineup for the Lakers' regular-season opener on Tuesday night, he hasn't seemed to have forgotten about being benched.

According to Westbrook, the simple act of starting the game on the bench and proceeding to stand up to check into the game led to his injury.

“Absolutely,” Westbrook said when asked about his role change. “I've been doing the same thing for 14 years straight. Honestly, I didn't even know what to do pregame. Being honest, I was trying to figure out how to stay warm and loose."

"For me, obviously the way I play the game, it's fast-paced, quick, stop-and-go. And I just happened to, when I subbed in, I felt something. Thought it was... didn't know what it was, but I wasn't going to risk it in a preseason game. But definitely wasn't something I was used to. Wasn't warm enough. But that's something I just wasn't accustomed to.”  

We're talking about an all-world athlete being paid $47 million this season who just admitted he "didn't even know what to do pregame."

If this isn't a sign that the Lakers are going to be a complete dumpster fire again this season as long as Westbrook is still around, I'm not sure what is.

Westbrook had a strong outing in the Lakers' loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday scoring 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds.

Written by

Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.