Anthony Davis Has Surprising Response to Lakers Trading Russell Westbrook

Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

Getty Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

Anthony Davis had a surprising response to the Los Angeles Lakers trading Russell Westbrook.

The All-Star big man said Westbrook, who got traded to the Utah Jazz, is “ready just to get back to being Russ.”

“I mean, I think like he said before, it’s a business,” Davis said. “I was kind of in that situation in New Orleans. Fans and the organization, everything. I just tried to talk to him. We had a conversation today. I’m not sharing what we talked about, but I feel like he’s in a good place mentally. It can weigh on someone when you feel like the world is on your shoulders. From a playing standpoint, from a media standpoint, the fans, everything. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen with him, get bought out or what or anything, but I think he’s in a good place and he’s ready just to get back to being Russ. Leaving everything behind that he had to deal with the past couple years, whether it was the fans or the media, whatever.”

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 one-time MVP in the lineup. Westbrook wasn’t a good fit next to Davis and LeBron James since he’s not a reliable shooter. The UCLA product shot 29.7% from beyond the arc as a member of the purple and gold.

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 3-point land and 65.5% from the free-throw line. The California native is fourth in the NBA in turnovers and has the fourth-worst effective field goal percentage and the third-worst true shooting percentage.

Westbrook is expected to get bought out by the Jazz, who traded Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Lakers. Los Angeles also acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the three-team Westbrook trade.

Anthony Davis: Russell Westbrook Is a Really Good Dude

Davis wants people to know that Westbrook “is a really good dude.” Even though the Westbrook-Davis-James trio didn’t work, Davis has nothing bad 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 and people 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. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Westbrook and Ham had a “heated verbal exchange” in the locker room during halftime of the Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Russell Westbrook Situation Reportedly Became ‘Toxic’ for the Lakers

Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Westbrook situation became “toxic” for the Lakers, who are in 13th place in the Western Conference standings. Westbrook is the second player in NBA history to get traded four times after winning an MVP, joining Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo.

“But when Ham turned his attention to Westbrook and his specific individual struggles, sources say the future Hall of Famer appeared to take it personally. As had been the case so many times before, when the coaching staff struggled with Westbrook’s unwillingness to be held accountable for his play, Westbrook wasn’t hearing it. Ham, sources say, was upset at a number of on-court developments from the first half,” Buha and Amick wrote. “But the final straw, it seems, was Westbrook’s choice to walk off the court so slowly after he was replaced late in the second quarter. For both parties, the topic of great disagreement centered on respect — or lack thereof. In the end, with the tension in the room adding to the toxicity of their environment yet again, they agreed to disagree.”

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