Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook looks checked out
Calling all tankers. Calling all tankers. If you’re desperate to improve your chances of buying Victor Wembanyama, there’s a disgruntled defender with the Los Angeles Lakers, whose contract is expiring, and isn’t as athletic as it once was.
The Lakers treat Wednesday night’s pre-season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves like a regular-season dressing practice. Darvin Ham told the media he would use regular seasonal rotation In the first three quarters of the game, LeBron James and Anthony Davis both played well for more than 20 minutes.
However, if Russell Westbrook’s regular-season performance is anything like Wednesday’s, the Lakers need a chance to step in before the season-opener against the Golden State Warriors.
He played poorly in just over 25 minutes of play. Westbrook was one of three from the field, totaling five points, three rebounds, four assists and three transfers, while shooting 50% from the free-throw line.
As bad as that status line looked, his actions on the pitch were even worse. Westbrook was literally away from his teammates from the start. As the starting line-up was introduced, Westbrook caught sight of James – who was announced last – and then sped away from the team as they gathered together on the field.
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Westbrook also got into a weird exchange with Jaden McDaniels as they toss the basketball back and forth, reminiscent of some of the aggressive check balls in “White Men Can’t Jump.” Anytime a 33-year-old Hall of Famer acts immaturely with a member of the team whose last season played some of the most immature playoff basketball games in recent memory, it’s never a sign good mark.
And then there was the mess that Patrick Beverley tried to call after a foul. Typical basketball – let’s take a quick break in the action to rally ourselves and make sure everyone is on the same page. James, Davis and Lonnie Walker IV all quickly assembled but Westbrook made no move to join the group. Davis actually went after him, and Westbrook refused to join the team and substituted him along the baseline for the free throw.
Reading someone’s body language is always difficult, especially when watching something on television. He provide an explanation to the media on Thursday, saying he always leaves the conversation early and that at the free-throw line he communicated with the Lakers coaches. Looking back on how he approached the player introduction, his defense was reasonable, but when Beverley gathered that crowd during the break, nothing Westbrook said could explain why he was. He didn’t participate in it. The Lakers tried to get their most important players on board on Wednesday, and nothing Westbrook said could shake the prospect that he’s not joining the team.
Now that everyone has watched Wembanyama, it’s time for the Lakers to face off against the Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, or whatever team might be ready to head into this season for a chance at a generation. talented, and won’t be trying to weed out the Lakers for some future first-round draft picks they still have – none until 2027.
Westbrook played a good soldier at a press conference in late September when request about the Lakers wanting to push more when attacking, but he looks a lot like give up quietly on Wednesday.
If the Lakers are to have any chance of succeeding this season, the plus and minus needs to happen sooner rather than later. The Western Conference was weaker than usual for the past 15 years. The Lakers have a better chance of being in a post-season position than a main kicker, but if they can’t figure out what to do with Westbrook, they could also land themselves in the Wembanyama sweepstakes.