Lakers Change Tune On Russell Westbrook After First Team Practice

The Los Angeles Lakers had their first practice Tuesday and Russell Westbrook had a chance to give his best shot. Guess what? Lakers coaches really liked it.

Truth is, Westbrook is one of the most competitive players in the NBA. He struggled in his first season with the Lakers, but he won a MVP award. Yes, he is strong, skilled, and competitive. The Lakers can get the best of him. Head coach Darvin Ham promised to carve out a good role for the one-time MVP.
Here’s the biggest question. Will Westbrook be part of the starting lineup in the 2022-23 NBA season?
Head coach Ham talked about Westbrook’s impact in practice, saying that the veteran will definitely get a starting role with the team.

“I know there’s this narrative that’s being thrown out there that I never said, you know what I’m saying?” Ham told the media. “Like, it’s crazy. I mean, what goes on in this building, what goes on with the conversations with Rob [Pelinka], Russ and myself, his agent Jeff [Schwartz]. …You have to hold your tongue a lot, choose not to speak on things. But then people draw different scenarios out of your silence, which is crazy. But he was there front and center today and did well, brought a ton of great energy to the gym.”

Lakers coaches like what they see from Westbrook in practice

Ham did say that players will have to compete for a starting role in camp? He made these comments not so long ago. I guess Westbrook did a really great job in practice.

“We’re ways away. We have different options,” Ham said of Westbrook’s spot in the lineup. “Signed Dennis [Schroder], we signed Pat Bev, we got healthy Kendrick Nunn along with Russ himself, Austin Reaves. We have a variety of options to fill our backcourt.”

One thing stands for sure. The Lakers are focused on the defense. They have to improve the defense and stop aggressive rivals. Who will get the most playing time? It’s too soon to make a prediction. We do believe that Russ will start many games in the upcoming season.