The news is a couple of weeks old at the point but Russell Westbrook has finally had a chance to make his first comments as a Los Angeles Lakers. The nine-time All-Star is returning home and could barely hide his excitement during his introductory press conference. Despite being one of only two players in NBA history to average a triple-double, Westbrook is not often mentioned among the top-10 best players in the league.
During his press conference, the guard was asked if he still has anything he needs to prove. He gave a blunt statement.
“I don’t,” Westbrook said regarding whether or not he has something to prove. “I’ve been blessed and thankful to be able to be in this league so long and lucky to be able to play and be healthy. When I got drafted to the NBA that was me proving people wrong. … When I was able to go to college that was me proving people wrong. Making it out the hood that was proving people wrong. … The ultimate goal is to use what we have to impact those around you.”
The only thing missing from Westbrook’s resume is a championship. That’s all he really has left to prove. Joining up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis should give him a much better shot at fixing that one blip on his record.
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Westbrook Talks Playing With LeBron
While Westbrook is certainly an elite basketball talent, many questioned whether he was a good fit on the current Lakers roster. Both LeBron and he are ball-dominant players. One of them is going to have to give up the ball more than they’re used to. Westbrook is going to be flexible on how he approaches the game when he shares the court with LeBron.
“Bron is one of the best players to play this game,” Westbrook said of playing with his new teammate. “He has his ability to do anything on the floor, and that allows me to figure it out. My job is to make his game easier for him as it pertains to ball-handling, it really doesn’t matter, there’s many ways to impact the game without having the ball in your hands.”
LeBron and Westbrook just want to win at this point in their careers. The two can figure out a way to coexist and play winning basketball.
Westbrook Always Looking to Get Better
As Westbrook noted earlier, he doesn’t have much to prove. He’s cemented his spot in basketball history and would be a Hall of Famer if he retired tomorrow. He now gets to play for his hometown team with some of the best players in the world. He’s excited to continue to learn.
“I’m coming to an unbelievable organization, team, and players that I’m able to learn from,” Westbrook said. “Every year I try to be a better player and I’ll do that here as well.”
LeBron has always been great at making players around him better. Westbrook shouldn’t be any different. No, it’s not a perfect fit but the team clearly thinks it’ll work. LeBron isn’t in the business of just bringing his friends over to play with him. They have a plan for Westbrook and it will be fascinating to see how the Lakers play this season.