Insider Reveals New Drama Between 2 Lakers Stars

Lakers stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

The pressure is on the Los Angeles Lakers to improve their roster with LeBron James contemplating a contract extension this offseason. If body language is any indication, James would not mind the Lakers moving on from Russell Westbrook despite his public support for the star point guard at the conclusion of the season.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin revealed that James and Westbrook “couldn’t have been farther apart” as the two stars watched the Lakers take on the Suns in Vegas summer league action on July 8, 2022. Westbrook has been the subject of trade talks throughout the offseason as the Lakers continue to be linked to disgruntled Nets star Kyrie Irving.

“The Lakers’ summer league squad might have been on the court playing the Suns, but all eyes were on the sidelines at Thomas & Mack Arena, where James and Westbrook couldn’t have been farther apart,” McMenamin wrote on July 8. “James sat on the south baseline flanked by his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, and his longtime friend and Lakers executive administrator, Randy Mims. Meanwhile, Westbrook positioned himself beside the Lakers’ bench on the opposite sideline.

“…Several other Lakers players in attendance — Talen Horton-Tucker, Wenyen Gabriel and Thomas Bryant — made their way to James. But James and Westbrook stayed in their respective corners, with Westbrook exiting at halftime out of one tunnel and James leaving after the third quarter out of another.”

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LeBron: ‘Love Being a Teammate With Russ’

LeBron James talks about playing with Russell Westbrook again -during his 2022 season exit interview2022-04-11T17:20:45Z

James headed into the offseason emphasizing that he “love(s) being a teammate with Russ” as the superstar spoke with reporters during his exit interview. James cited the lack of time with himself, Westbrook and Anthony Davis sharing the floor together as a key factor in the team’s lack of success during the 2021-22 season.

“One thing about Russ that I love and will always love is just his competitive spirit, what he brings to the game every single night,” James detailed during an April 11 press conference. “And when you’re in a profession where so many injuries happen and so many things go on and to have a guy that’s reliable and can put on a uniform every single night, that’s something I respect, out of everything. And I’m not gonna sit here and make decisions for the front office and things of that nature, but I love being a teammate with Russ. That’s just the way it is.”

LeBron Is Pushing the Lakers to Trade for Kyrie: Report

VideoVideo related to insider reveals new drama between 2 lakers stars2022-07-09T10:52:12-04:00

Yet, all signs point to James pushing the Lakers to pull off a blockbuster trade for Irving, a move that likely would signal the end of Westbrook’s time in Los Angeles. Even if the Nets do not acquire Westbrook directly as part of a possible deal, the guard is expected to be on the move to a third team if an Irving trade is agreed upon. NBA insider Marc Stein reported on July 3 that James was pressing the Lakers to add Irving.

“I know Irving has been in Los Angeles this week, but that’s not the source of my confidence,” Stein detailed. “It stems from repeated rumbles in circulation that LeBron James is rooting hard for Irving’s addition to the roster.

“James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone. What other team, furthermore, has a LeBron-sized personality with the experience to cope with all the chaos that comes with adding Kyrie? James, remember, has often thrived in chaos.”

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