Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook isn’t a good shot. We know this from years of evidence. What we also know is that Westbrook has been one of the most entertaining and productive players in the NBA in his 14-year career, breaking all triple-double records.
But still, he’s subject to some cold shot stretches. He’s currently mired in a nasty 8-for-40 shooting drop in his last three games, two of which have resulted in losses for the Lakers. On Wednesday night, Westbrook rose to 2 for 14 on the field and 0 for 5 on 3 points in the Lakers’ 125-116 road loss to the Sacramento Kings. He shot so badly that the Kings’ game operations team at the Golden 1 Center decided to play an audio clip of the 1977 Aliens classic, “Cold as Ice” whenever Westbrook missed.
Every time a Westbrook shot came out of the rim, “You are as coooooold as the ice” reverberated throughout the arena. The Kings also trolled Westbrook with his name and jumbotron image before giving out the title “Ice Cold Player of the Game”. As comical as it may be for some, the Kings will not be allowed to continue the song, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 in Sacramento.
Certainly no stranger to the heckling, he had a quick and intelligent retaliation when asked about it after the loss.
“It’s funny,” said Westbrook, who claimed he didn’t notice the gadget during the game. “I hope they’ve played that over the past 14 years as well. It’s funny they’re playing it now. It’s cute.”
Westbrook has shot a respectable 45% from the field against Sacramento during his career averaging 22.3 points, 8.4 assists and 7.9 rebounds in 46 games, so his answer is actually pretty accurate (unlike his recent shot).
Whether the freezing Westbrook shootout continues, however, is the Lakers’ most pressing concern. He’s struggled to fit in all season, and as our Sam Quinn wrote, head coach Frank Vogel might have to reconsider how he uses the former MVP. Westbrook’s 18.7 points per game is his lowest average since his sophomore year in the league.
“We’re working with Russ,” Vogel said after the loss to Sacramento. “He’s getting our training. We’re just trying to put him in positions to be successful. He’s just in a fit right now, finishing in basket and from the perimeter. We just have to stay with him and help him get through that. ”