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Frank Vogel’s decision to bench Russell Westbrook for the final four minutes of the loss against the Pacers sparked talks about the future of the former NBA MVP who is not used to sitting on the bench during crunch time.

This decision came from the Lakers head coach after the 33-year-old point guard had a series of disappointing performances. According to a former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins, who used to be teammates with Westbrook, it is time for him to start games on the bench.

“I think for the Lakers and for this team — yes,” Perkins said on ESPN’s First Take when asked if Westbrook should be coming off the bench. “And I think Russ has reached a point of his career and it’s okay because everyone goes through it as a player, as a former NBA player when you come to that time where you just don’t really have it no more.

“And I think Russ coming off the bench is not a bad thing. See a lot of people out there in the world think ‘Oh if you’re not a starter, then you’re not at a certain level.’ No, it’s not about who starts the game, it’s about who finishes the game.

“I think it would be great because now he could come in and move LeBron James back to the starting point guard position, have Russ come in and now he could be Russell Westbrook, he could be aggressive where he’s not standing in the corner. Again, I took a lot of heat off of Frank Vogel and the coaching staff but once again Russell Westbrook isn’t going anywhere.

“So with that being said, you have to find a way to put him in position to be successful and that’s not hanging around the three-point line, that’s not shooting those 15-footers, that’s getting downhill, dribble hand-off actions things to that nature. But I hate to say it, as of today right now, yes it’s time for Russell Westbrook to come off the bench.”

This season Westbrook is averaging 18.5 points, 8 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 34.9 minutes per game for Los Angeles.