The Lakers may have a decent team at the moment to look forward to, but it was not the case a month ago. The Los Angeles franchise had trouble finding balance in the roster, and the injury issues never stopped coming in. The Lakers are in a delicate position right now where they cannot afford to make any mistakes. It is because if they do, then they may miss the postseason for two years in a row. The Lakers are somehow hanging in the top ten at the moment. They are the 9th seed of the Western Conference. But why is it that the Lakers did not start well in the season? And why are they afraid of missing out on back-to-back postseasons?
Why James And Davis Supported The Westbrook Trade?
After all these issues, when the front office decided to trade Russell Westbrook, it was said that the other two superstars of the Lakers – LeBron James and Anthony Davis were in full support of the move. However, according to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, the two had to know about the third star’s attitude problems in the hard way. But again, Deveney suggests that neither James nor Davis had a chat with Westbrook before saying yes to the trade discussion of the latter.
Deveney also noted that an executive of the Western Conference told him that Russell Westbrook is a great player to watch but tough to play alongside him. According to the anonymous executive, any player like Kevin Durant, Paul George, and James Harden who has experience sharing a place in the lineup with Westbrook would say the same about him.
The weird thing the executive told Deveney is that James and Davis thought they could change Westbrook. But they never consulted with his ex-teammates. In the end, the duo realized that Westbrook might be hard-working and a nice guy. But he would never change his approach. Russell Westbrook is just that stubborn. He played as many as 130 matches wearing the purple and gold jersey, but his average was not that impressive. For the Lakers, the 34-year-old point guard averaged 17.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 7.2 apg. The nine-time All-Star with the Lakers was shooting 43.4% from the field. And 29.7 from the back of the three-point mark.
Russell Westbrook Could Not Fit In The Lakers
The Lakers were the NBA champions in 2020. But what went so wrong in the following years? It was the idea of the front office of the Lakers to have the trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook get them more championship glories. In the middle of 2021, the Wizards traded Westbrook to the Lakers. But his entry did not help the team in any way because of his style of play. Russell Westbrook previously played for the Wizards and the Rockets. But for the longest time, he played for Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-2019). Russell Westbrook became a superstar playing for the Thunder.
However, when he joined the Lakers, Westbrook had trouble adapting to the poor spacing of the Lakers. Clearly, he could not adapt himself well to the roster in his first year with the LA franchise. The former Thunder star was used more as a reserve player from his second season on the team. The management of the Lakers team mentioned Westbrook’s stubbornness was a major problem.