Russell Westbrook used to skip school to attend Lakers championship parades, and now he’s a member of the team. So what do you know?
“Some of these dreams don’t come true for people like myself,” Westbrook told reporters.
Westrbrook, 32, is 6-foot-3 and remains a stat-stuffing machine. In 65 games durig his lone season in Washington, he averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and a career-high 11.7 assists.
His scoring could be impacted next to James and Davis, but his assists may just keep going up. Regardless, Westbrook is just taking it a day at a time, soaking in the reality that he’s playing for his hometown squad.
“Being from LA, you always wish that you could play for your home team,” he said. “That’s definitely something that always circled around in my mind. Maybe one day? But I always would come back and be like, ‘Ah, that probably won’t happen.’ I just had to wait and see. But now that we’re here, I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
He understands that he’ll be second fiddle to James, likely even third fiddle to James and Davis. And he’s OK with it.
“LeBron is one of the best players to play this game, and his ability to do everything on the floor allows me to just figure it out,” Westbrook said. “I’m coming to a championship-caliber team, and my job is to make his game easy for him, and I’ll find ways to do that.
“As it pertains to ball-handling, it really doesn’t matter. There’s many different ways you can impact the game without having the ball in your hands. I’ve been able to do that for a number of years, and we’ll figure it out.”
Needless to say, Lakers coach Frank Vogel will have to figure it all out, and it’s a good problem to have. Too much starpower, in today’s NBA, is never viewed as a negative.
“Anytime you have three great players like this, there is an element of sacrifice required, and we’ve all talked about that and are all-in on that,” Vogel said. “But these three guys can do it all. They’re all make-the-right-play players.
“It’s not just about scoring or being a one-dimensional player. They can all do it all. I’m most excited about seeing what the three of them on the court at the same time looks like.”