The Los Angeles Lakers struggled early in the regular season, but it seems like they have just found the road to success. Yes, Lakers players looked good on the floor in the game against the Boston Celtics. They lost the game, but NBA experts noticed something great. Russell Westbrook made headlines with his “selfless act”.
The Lakers were advised to trade the veteran ahead of the regular season. Rob Pelinka contacted several teams, but negotiations got stuck in the middle of nowhere. Westbrook put on his Lakers jersey and entered the season as a Laker. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had plans for Russ and offered him a bench role. Westbrook is really competitive, but he embraced his new role.
Many would agree that this could save his NBA career. Chris Mannix from Sports Illustrated is one of them. He spoke to an exec, and this person claims that Westbrook made the right decision. Accepting a bench role may have extended his career.
“This will change how people view him…If he’s willing to be a change-of-pace point guard, to play less minutes, to have defensive energy, top-tier teams are going to be interested in him this summer,” the exec said. “The Iverson comparisons are fair. Allen could have played three or four more years if he had been willing to come off the bench. He would have had a field day against second units. Westbrook can do the same.”
Ham likes Westbrook’s determination to win.
“Says he’s selfless…[That] he is willing to sacrifice,” Mannix quoted Ham. “He’s willing to add a new element and a new chamber to our team in terms of how balanced we are and how balanced of an attack we can have.”
Russell Westbrook to have a good season after his selfless act
Westbrook averages 15.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game while going 41.7% from the field and 31.1% from the three-point line. He was considered a top asset, but the Lakers may not give up on him at this point.
Keith Smith couldn’t agree more. He shares similar opinion and has high expectations from Westbrook.
“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,” Smith said on the Postin Up With Keith Smith & Adam Taylor Podcast. “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.”