Things haven’t gotten off to a great start for the new-look Los Angeles Lakers. They went 0-6 in the preseason and lost the season opener to the Golden State Warriors 121-114. It’s not a surprise the team is struggling early but nobody could’ve foresaw them being this bad.
The Lakers completely retooled their roster in the offseason. The biggest roster move they made was trading Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook. Kuzma had commonly been used as a trade chip for the team and they finally pulled the trigger. Though he’s still friendly with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there may still be some animosity between Kuzma and the Lakers.
In a now-deleted story posted on his Instagram, Kuzma posted a screenshot of a tweet saying the “Lakers 0-7 without” him.
Obviously, Kuzma realized that it’s not the best idea to take shots at his former team and quickly deleted them. Unfortunately for him, fans have already screenshotted it and circulated the post around the internet.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Westbrook off to Nightmare Start
It’s still early but there are a handful of Lakers fans that are already wishing the team didn’t make the Westbrook trade. He had the worst possible debut possible with the team. He scored eight points on 4-for-13 shooting and four turnovers. Considering Anthony Davis and LeBron James played like superstars, combining for 67 points, Westbrook’s lackluster debut stuck out even more.
Despite the early red flags, LeBron isn’t worried about the performance yet.
“I just don’t want him to be so hard on himself,” LeBron said after the loss. “That was the one thing that I hoped to get through to him, don’t be so hard on himself. Go home and you’re going to see three babies that he has that might be asleep, but they’ll put a smile on his face. He has a beautiful wife and family. So at the end of the day, you go home and you’re really like, ‘OK, that was not that bad. It’s really not that bad.'”
It’s just one game and the last thing the Lakers need is for Westbrook to lose his confidence. He’ll figure things out but it will take time. There will likely be a few more nightmare games like this before he’s fully adjusted to the team.
Kuzma Set to Play 1st Game as a Non-Laker
If Westbrook continues to struggle all season, fans will question the trade. However, the Lakers needed to move off of Kuzma. He’s a talented player but was no longer a fit on the roster. He was consistently involved in trade rumors so the team just needed to make a move.
Kuzma has spent his entire career in Los Angeles and will finally be playing his first game on a different team. The Wizards play the Toronto Raptors to start the season. It remains to be seen if he’ll be a consistent starter for the team but he’s got a lot to prove this season. He looked like a future star in his first two seasons but fell off the last two. Time will tell if he can recapture that early-career magic in Washington.