“Stop all the Russell Westbrook talk. That man is a Laker,” Green said. “They trying to make it work, and it can work. When you are as great of players as those guys have, it can work, and then adding Patrick Beverley to the floor, you’re just going to win more games, that’s been proven.”
He also had praise for Beverley, a pesky defender with a lot of qualities someone like Green — a former Defensive Player of the Year — would appreciate.
“All you got to do is watch the teams Patrick Beverley has played on,” Green said. “That is a proven fact.”
Green Has Been Supporter of Westbrook Trade Previously
Green has been a defender of the Lakers’ trade for Westbrook previously, praising the former MVP for what he brings to the table. While he doesn’t think Westbrook is a great fit in LA, he doesn’t fault the Lakers and LeBron James — who was a driving force behind the deal — for making a move.
“I 100% think the fit is terrible,” Green said on the Checc’n In Podcast in September. “I don’t think you could talk to Russell Westbrook right now, and Russell Westbrook wouldn’t think the fit is terrible — just, because the fit is terrible, don’t mean you don’t go for it. Because guess what, if you go for it and it works, then you got a championship.”
As evident from his quotes, Green is never shy to voice his opinion on the happenings around the league, even when it comes to a rival like the Lakers. This offseason he also weighed in on rumors that LA was eyeing disgruntled Nets star Kyrie Irving.
“They could contend, but they won’t beat us,” Green told Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw.
Lakers Hoping for Bounce Back Year From Westbrook
As Green points out, Westbrook is still wearing purple and gold and the Lakers appear set up to run things back with the polarizing point guard to see if he can find a better rhythm with coach Darvin Ham at the helm.
“He’s ours, and we love him, and we want him to do well,” Ham told reporters prior to the Lakers first preseason game. “I have a plan for him. That plan included him when they gave me the job. So it’s been a great camp for him. He’s played well. Energy has been through the roof. It’s been great.”
Westbrook performed well in his preseason debut, recording five points, three assists and two rebounds in 15 minutes. He saw a little more time on against the Suns on Wednesday, notching 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, going 2-of-4 from deep. He also had six rebounds and three assists.
While Westbrook has had no problem putting up numbers in his career, what Ham has liked is his renewed focus on the defensive end.
“He’s been a huge presence on the ball defensively, and he’s gotten after it: a lot of multiple efforts, in terms of navigating screens and still getting to the player with a contest,” Ham said. “He’s one of our better athletes still, athletic at an elite level. He’s been really, really efficient in terms of his play offensively. And like everybody else, he’s putting his money where his mouth is by actually doing what we’ve been asking.”
The Lakers continue their preseason slate against the Timberwolves on Thursday.