Russell Westbrook’s introspective Lakers match: Basketball is not the end of everything

Lakers Ranger Russell Westbrook was expected to be an important part of their campaign for the NBA Championship. These expectations are very short so far.

Westbrook, who has an average of 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists with 43.7 percent shooting this season, has scored just 23 points in the last three games, scoring just 8 out of 40 shooting attempts. The Lakers have lost two of those three games and lost eight of their last 13 games since December 17.

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While Los Angeles striker LeBron James excelled this season with an average of 29.1 points for 7.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists, Westbrook problems and injuries to Lakers striker Anthony Davis prevented the team from reaching its potential, along with injuries and absences related. with COVID-19. .

Despite these concerns on the court, Westbrook, in a recent interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, shared that he was still happy to be in Los Angeles, given that he was a native of SoCal and remained in close proximity to his parents and children.

“I can be home and I can hug them,” Westbrook said. “They see me, and as they get older, I see my children every day and take them to school every morning. That brings me joy. “

Here’s more from Westbrook’s interview.

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Basketball is not end-all-be-all:

Although Westbrook may be in the trading market before the deadline of February 10, he said he did not care what fans and the media thought of him.

“I swear no one can imagine it for me because everyone thinks basketball is end-all-be-all, but it’s not really like that, you know?” he said. “Athletes– everyone has their own opinion.” But I really believe that being able to do (be in LA) and hug my kids does it – it puts a smile on my face no matter what’s going on. ”

Westbrook’s fitter in Los Angeles met with skepticism when he was traded to the Lakers last July for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s bodyguards, strikers Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, and No. 22 NBA Draft 2021. The Lakers were 23rd last season last year. points and needed more space around James and Davis. Westbrook is a 30.5% three-point career scorer.

This season, the Lakers are in 14th place by three points, but Westbrook shoots only 28.3% from a distance. (Note: Westbrook’s three-career career low is 22.1% and came in 2009 with the Thunder.)

Westbrook had to change his style of play with the Lakers – the origin of the dominant ball game – in an effort to cut James more and play short-roll.

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The Lakers, who have had a five-game series of defeats with five wins in six games and then two losses in the last 13 games, do not work consistently yet. Their inconsistent play up and down has the Lakers in the middle of the season at 21:21, which is enough for seventh place in the Western Conference.

“We all try to figure it out as a team, as a unit, to be able to say, ‘Okay, how can we figure this out?'” Westbrook said in our chat room. “And I know I’m the one who has to make the biggest sacrifice – and I understand that – so I have to be able to figure out a way to get the best out of it and do the best. for this team and that’s it.

Will Westbrook be replaced?

There are less than a month to close, and it is unclear whether Westbrook will move from Los Angeles.

With $ 44.2 million and a player option for next season worth more than $ 47 million this season, it will be difficult to find a suitor to take on such a large contract for Westbrook’s current production.

According to Amick, the 76ers reportedly have “zero” interest in exchanging for Westbrook and possibly striker Ben Simmons. Another rumor was a package with the Timberwolves for D’Angel Russell’s bodyguards, though it didn’t seem to be a big draw.

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For now, however, Westbrook is aware of this possibility and says that he is happy in Los Angeles, despite quarrels on the court.

“Whether or not the (trade) has taken place, nothing will change my mentality or my intention,” Westbrook told Amick. “I feel I have a goal that is bigger than basketball, and I always keep that as my forefront, no matter what happens in professional sports.”

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