Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and took to social media to celebrate his big move home. Westbrook started by thanking Wizards fans for supporting him last season.
“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” Westbrook said on Instagram. “Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way. I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you! #thedistrict”
Westbrook’s Instagram Stories were more Lakers-focused as the newest L.A. superstar reposted a graphic showing him in his new purple and gold uniform alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The newest Lakers guard also reposted a comment from his brother Ray Westbrook noting Los Angeles was “lit” after the trade.
“The city is lit!!!! This is crazy,” Ray Westbrook noted.
LeBron Has Been a Big Fan of Westbrook’s Game
“We know y’all HATE & don’t APPRECIATE but we just laugh it off!” James noted on Instagram. “But 1 thing you will do is RESPECT IT/US🤝 #GoodkidsMadCity #HiHaters👋🏾”
Months later, it now appears James was potentially planting the seeds to bring the L.A. native home. Westbrook responded in the comments to James’ heartfelt Instagram message.
“Straight like that brodie!!! 🏁🏁,” Westbrook commented at the time.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Westbrook had been targeting a trade to the Lakers. Los Angeles general manager Rob Pelinka will have his hands full filling out the Lakers roster with even tighter salary cap constraints.
“This is a trade Washington wants to make with Bradley Beal in mind, creating some salary cap flexibility for the future to add talent around him, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski said on Twitter. “The idea of returning to his Los Angeles roots has been appealing to Westbrook.”
Woj: Trade to the Lakers Is a ‘Dream Come True’ for Westbrook
After weeks of rumors, news first broke of the Lakers and Wizards finalizing the trade just hours before the NBA draft. Wojnarowski described the move as a “dream come true” for Westbrook.
“For a Southern California kid, this is a dream come true to go back, play for the Lakers and now partner up with Anthony Davis and LeBron James,” Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter. “And this is a big three in L.A. that perhaps we didn’t see coming.”
The deal gives the Lakers a new big three with James, Davis and Westbrook. Lakers legend Magic Johnson took to Twitter to describe his feelings on the blockbuster move.
“Russell Westbrook is the most electric player in the NBA today and the STAPLES Center will be on fire next season!! 🔥🔥🔥” Johnson tweeted.
The Lakers represent Westbrook’s fourth team in the last four seasons, but both parties are hoping this can be a longer stay. Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds with the Wizards last season. The star has averaged a triple-double in three of his last four seasons.