Everybody seems to have an opinion about how Russell Westbrook will fit with the Los Angeles Lakers since he was traded to the team. It’s fair to have some concern about how things will work now that the former MVP has joined the purple and gold but the Lakers made the decision and will have to live with it. There are legitimate reasons to be a bit anxious if you’re a fan of the team considering none of the team’s superstars are elite shooters.
However, there’s no questioning that the Lakers have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA. Fans may be a little concerned but the players haven’t expressed trepidation. Dwight Howard is among the players who don’t think it will be an issue.
“I think it will work great,” Howard said of pairing Westbrook with Davis and LeBron. “He’s played with superstars before. He’s played with KD and James [Harden], he’s played with Bradley Beal, he’s played with so many superstars, so I don’t think that will be a problem for him. I think he has been underappreciated. I think all of us, really, have been underappreciated.”
Opinions on Westbrook were once very high but are starting to sour. He’s set to be on his fourth team in four years and his poor shooting is a major issue. Howard believes that people need to appreciate the guard.
“So I think having a guy like Russ is going to get you 15, 16, 20 points a night,” Howard continued. “He’s going to get you 12 rebounds, he’s going to get you 10 assists, and he’s going to play 110 percent every single night. How can you not appreciate that? So I’m gonna tell you: ‘I appreciate you, Russ!’ And we ain’t even played a game on the same team yet.”
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Howard Talks Lakers Roster
If the Lakers had their current roster six years ago, it would be the greatest collection of talent ever assembled in the NBA. Unfortunately, many of the former stars the team has are well past their prime. Regardless, it will be an experience to see all these current and former superstars on one team and Howard knows it.
“It will be crazy,” Howard told Matt Peralta of Lakers Nation. “It’s something that’s really hard to fathom, just imagine seeing all of us on the floor at the same time. Not on the All-Star team, not on the Olympic team, not for a charity game, but for an actual season, all of us will be together. So I think that’s gonna be great. All our guys are hungry, we want to win, we want to stay in the best shape as possible, so I think it’s gonna be an awesome time this year just having everybody on the floor practicing, going hard, understanding that it’s only one mission and that’s to win the championship.”
Can Lakers Prove Doubters Wrong?
With all this talk about the Lakers’ age being a detriment to the team, there’s been plenty of fuel added to the fire. The roster is littered with players who are hungry to win a championship this season. Some of the concerns over the team are legitimate but if they can stay healthy, they will be a hard squad to beat.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James can still be the NBA’s best duo if they return to form after a disappointing year. Westbrook gives the team a third playmaker who can win games when the other two aren’t at full speed. The Lakers can certainly prove the doubters wrong this season but it’s really going to come down to the health of the team at the end of the year.