Lakers Russell Westbrook Could Extend Career With New Bench Role

The Los Angeles Lakers fired their head coach and hired Darvin Ham. They thought that Ham could find a solution to the Russell Westbrook saga and yes, he gave him a bench role. It may not be the best role for the one-time NBA MVP, but Westbrook understood the assignment. He delivers great stats off the bench and this may extend his career.

That’s what Keith Smith suggests. Smith discussed Westbrook’s situation on the November 22 episode of Heavy on Sports Postin’ Up with Keith Smith & Adam Taylor podcast. According to him, Russ should stay on this position and save his career.

Russell Westbrook embraced his bench role

Westbrook is one of the most dominant players in the NBA. Getting a bench role didn’t go in his favor and he wasn’t really a fan of this position. Well, this big change in positions may be of great help. Russ struggled in his first season with the Lakers. He delivers better numbers coming off the bench this season.

“Let’s see what happens with the thumb injury he suffered last night (November 21). If that turns into a thing that will obviously impact it. But yeah, I think so. I’ve been saying if he’s willing to sacrifice, which can be very hard for a player of his stature and what he has been for years and years and years in this league. If he’s willing to sacrifice and go to making a Derrick Rose-like transition, to being ‘I’m gonna be the leader of the second unit. I’m gonna come in, I’m gonna do my thing. Might only be for twenty minutes a night, but I can really do that.’

“He could add two, three, productive years to his career. It’s gonna be whether or not he’s really willing to make those sacrifices and changes. Yeah, letting him kind of cook on second units, that’s tough because you also think too when he gets in the game, it’s quite often when the starters are, they’re just the need of that first blow, and those backup guards they’re not equipped to handle Russ, you know, when what he does as an attacker so yeah, I think we’re getting close.”