NBA – Russell Westbrook: « Whether the Lakers want me or not, it doesn’t really matter »


Russell Westbrook must not have had the most peaceful summer of his career. Many rumors were about his departure from Los Angeles and yet, less than a month from the resumption, the leader is well with the Lakers. « My job is to be professional, to work as I have always done and to do my job as best I can. We all have jobs where sometimes people don’t like us and don’t want us, you can attest to that I’m sure“, quipped the player during the traditional pre-season Media Day.

« I’m ready to do whatever it takes for this team to win« , added Westbrook, eager to show, despite all the criticism collected after a disappointing first season, that he is always ready to fight on the floor. Transferred to the Lakers in the summer of 2021, the former Thunder player , named MVP in 2017, has never been able to find his place in the Californian team for his first year.Weighed down by injuries, in particular to Anthony Davis and also LeBron James, the 2020 champion finished in a disappointing 11th place in the Western conference, de facto missing the play-offs.

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« I don’t have the answer yet“, he replied when asked what it takes for his team to find the top 6 in the West. He was again marble when asked if his starting role was threatened, in particular by the arrival of the leader Patrick Beverley: « I’m just excited to get back on the court, can’t wait to start the season and whatever happens, happens« . As he turns 34 in November, the nine-time All-Star point guard will earn $ 47 million this season, after which he will be free of any contract.

Beverley Competition

To strengthen themselves, the Lakers repatriated Patrick Beverley to Los Angeles, he who played with the opposite team, the Clippers, from 2017 to 2021. Playing in the same position as Westbrook, the two leaders had several altercations on the land in the past. The former Timberwolves player, however, seems to have reconciled with Westbrook. « I’ve been here four weeks and if I had to pick one best friend on this team so far, it would be him. We’re at practice at 6:30 in the morning together« , he assured. « People think we have the worst relationship ever…but I know a lot of you don’t like each other either. But when you put two professionals together, two people who want to win, it works and to get where we want to go, we have to become good friends.« , he added.

Remarks aimed at reassuring Lakers fans. Just like those of LeBron James, who also shared his optimism about the upcoming season of « RussWest« : « it’s going to be a big year for him. We will be behind himTheir season will begin on October 18 with a trip to San Francisco, to the defending champions Golden State Warriors.

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