Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis was asked by reporters on February 22 about Russell Westbrook, who is joining the Los Angeles Clippers.
Davis said he had no idea how Westbrook would fit with the Clippers since he doesn’t watch them play.
“I’m not part of that team,” Davis said. “I have no idea what their locker room is like, what their chemistry is like. Honestly, I don’t really watch the Clippers like that. I got three kids. I don’t know. I mean, I know they got rid of John (Wall) and Reggie (Jackson), so it’s another point guard for them. I’m not sure how T-Lue (Tyronn Lue) and the coaching staff will utilize him, but I’m pretty sure he’s happy to stay in LA.”
The Lakers traded Westbrook to the Utah Jazz at the trade deadline. The Jazz bought out Westbrook, allowing the 2016-17 MVP to sign with the Clippers.
“After completing a contract buyout, nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the LA Clippers, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on February 20. “Once Westbrook and the Utah Jazz complete the buyout on the remaining $47 million owed on his expiring deal, the former NBA MVP will clear waivers and return to Los Angeles — this time with the Clippers. The Clippers became increasingly interested with Westbrook as team officials, including coach Ty Lue and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, dug into a series of conversations with Westbrook, sources said. Those discussions centered on Westbrook’s willingness to fit into a clear and specific role with the Clippers built around his playmaking, rebounding and toughness, sources said.”
Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists this season while shooting 41.7% from the field, 29.6% from beyond the arc and 65.5% from the free-throw line. The UCLA product will reunite with Paul George on the Clippers. Westbrook and George were teammates for two seasons on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Anthony Davis: Russell Westbrook ‘Is a Really Good Dude’
Davis told reporters on February 10 that Westbrook “is a really good dude.” Even though the Westbrook-Davis-LeBron James trio didn’t work, Davis had nothing negative to say about Westbrook.
“But I want people to know overall, Russ is a really good dude,” Davis said. “I’ve been knowing Russ since I got in the league. We had the same agency, same agent before and me and him got really close. So, outside of all the basketball stuff or what people say about him on the floor and everything, he’s a really good dude. So, the perception on him is he’s not and he’s this and that, but I think he’s gonna be fine.”
Westbrook was booed by Lakers fans at home games. People also called him “Russell Westbrick” last season on social media.
In his final game with the Lakers, Westbrook got into an argument with head coach Darvin Ham. Wojnarowski reported that Westbrook and Ham had a “heated verbal exchange” in the locker room during halftime of the Thunder game.
Why Did the Clippers Add Russell Westbrook?
Westbrook averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists in 130 games with the Lakers. Los Angeles went 56-74 with the guard in the lineup. Westbrook wasn’t a good fit next to Davis and James since he’s not a reliable shooter. The future Hall of Famer shot 29.7% from beyond the arc as a member of the purple and gold.
George, who is close friends with Westbrook, believes the Clippers have a roster better suited for the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles.
“We got enough shooting to surround Russ where Russ can be Russ,” George said on February 10. “And I think the floor will be open for him, spacing will be there for him. I’m a big believer in and fan of what Russ’ work is. I’ve seen what he can do, night in, night out, and I think he’s still got a lot of game there.”