Lakers Star LeBron James Sends Strong Message on Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers checks on Russell Westbrook.

LeBron James immediately had Russell Westbrook’s back when the guard started bleeding during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 143-138 win over the San Antonio Spurs on November 26, 2022. Westbrook was hit in the head during a hard foul by Zach Collins, and James was able to stop the former All-Star before going after the Spurs big man.

In addition to defusing a potential altercation, James also held a towel to Westbrook’s temple in an attempt to stop the bleeding. James made it clear that he and Westbrook have “always been like brothers” even before they were Lakers teammates. The L.A. star emphasized that Westbrook’s health is “more important than the game of basketball.”

“Well, I saw where the cut was immediately, so,” James explained during a November 26 press conference. “It’s just common sense to put pressure on the cut right away [and] don’t let it continue to go.

“Before we became teammates, we’ve always been like brothers and cool and things of that nature. So, his health is more important than the game of basketball. I’m just trying to stop that and let the training staff do their job after we got him over to the bench. But I actually saw the cut right when it happened once he got up off the floor and then wanted to do something to Zach [Collins].”

NBA Execs Believe James Wanted Westbrook Traded This Offseason: Report

The Lakers’ victory over the Spurs extended Los Angeles’ recent hot streak as the team has won four of their last five games. Westbrook has had uptick in productivity since the Lakers have utilized the nine-time All-Star off the bench. It will be interesting to see if Los Angeles’ winning ways will alter the front office’s decision on whether to deal Westbrook prior to the February 9 trade deadline.

James’ relationship with Westbrook has been heavily scrutinized as the superstar along with Anthony Davis appeared to play a role in pushing the blockbuster deal for the guard over the finish line in 2021. Yet, the Lakers’ recent struggles has called into question whether James would like the team to move on from Westbrook. During a June 2 edition of “The Rich Eisen Show,” NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the “suspicion around the league” is that James and Davis would prefer the Lakers trade Westbrook.

“They’re never gonna say it, but I think the commonly held suspicion around the league is that the Lakers’ top stars would prefer if there was a Westbrook trade and they were able to move him and they can really try something else,” Stein said at the time. “But the reality is Westbrook, when he opts into his player option for next season, he’s going to be making $47 million.”

The Lakers May Not Trade Westbrook

The Lakers have been reluctant to attach future draft picks in a potential deal to move Westbrook. According to Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto, some NBA executives believe the Lakers will not move Westbrook if he continues to play well in a reserve role.

“While some combination of Rob Pelinka, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield has been trending topics on Twitter after each Lakers loss, many rival executives believe acquiring both players won’t make Los Angeles a contender in the West,” Scotto detailed on November 21. “Some executives believe the Lakers will stand pat and ride out the Westbrook experiment if he continues to produce off the bench.”

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x