The Los Angeles Lakers are finally in a decent position heading into the final stretch of the season. For the past two years, they have embarked on a failed experiment that saw them trade for Russell Westbrook and attempt to make it work. But at this year’s trade deadline, they shipped him out and reshaped their roster.
When the Lakers traded for Westbrook, it was revealed that LeBron James and Anthony Davis lobbied for the move to happen. But according to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, they had to learn about Westbrook’s stubbornness the hard way, as they didn’t talk to his former teammates before asking for the deal to go through.
“Like everybody who plays with him does (laughs),” a Western Conference executive told Deveney. “Fun guy to watch until you are his teammate. Kevin Durant, Paul George, James Harden – they will all tell you the same thing. Good guy, works hard but just stubborn as hell and won’t change his approach. What is amazing is that AD and LeBron thought they would get him to the Lakers and change him. They never asked his old teammates if that was a good idea or what.”
Westbrook failed to fit in effectively with the Lakers, as their poor spacing didn’t allow him to play the way he is used to. By his second year with the team, he was placed into a bench role, and just a year and a half after joining LA, he was traded again.
In the 130 games Westbrook played with the Lakers, he averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists on 43.4% shooting from the field and 29.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Lakers Receive Anthony Davis Injury Update
In other news, the Lakers recently received a new update on Davis’ foot injury. The issue caused him to miss 20 games earlier this season.
“Davis was reevaluated by Lakers medical personnel about two weeks ago after sitting out the second night of a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin wrote on March 14. “His right foot, which caused him to miss 20 games earlier in the season because of a stress reaction and a bone spur that fractured off the navicular bone, did not show significant healing, sources told ESPN. The doctors stuck to the same recommendation not to put Davis at risk of a setback from overexposure by participating in back-to-back games.”
D’Angelo Russell Sounds Off on Anthony Davis
Davis was absent in the Lakers’ recent loss to the Houston Rockets, and after the game, D’Angelo Russell spoke about what it’s like to make do without him.
“He’s a player that demands so much attention,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of gravity that goes his way, and when he’s on the floor, obviously, you get a lot of easier opportunities to capitalize on. And when he’s not, you got to make up for it. When you’re facing a team that switches, no matter what team you’re facing, it makes the offense a little more stagnant. So, it has to be more ball movement, more continuity, more quick hitters, and second and third options. Things like that. So, like I said, we’re a team that’s figured a lot of things out. There are holes in our system right now that, obviously, we’re trying to figure it out. And when we’re not all out there, it’s going to make it hard.”