Westbrook speaks for first time since becoming a Laker
Russell Westbrook returned to his hometown after the Wizards traded the All-Star guard to Los Angeles. Westbrook spoke for the first time on Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles Lakers have made plenty of noise this offseason as they continue to build a superteam in their quest for an 18th NBA title. Russell Westbrook was the first to sign on with a his home town team at the end of last week.
Westbrook the first of many Lakers summer signings
Westbrook has done just about everything since being drafted fourth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. After a decade in Oklahoma City where Westbrook won the league MVP and and took the franchise to their first finals appearance, the Los Angeles native moved to Houston first, and a year later the nations capital.
The year with Wizards didn’t go as planned despite teaming up with the second leading scorer in the NBA last year, Bradley Beal. After a year with Washington, the Lakers came knocking and acquired Westbrook in a trade that sent Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and its 2021 first-round pick tot he capital city.
Call from LeBron sparked a chain reaction
"Being from L.A., you always wish that you can play for your home team and be able to do that," Westbrook said Tuesday in his first press conference as a Laker. "But that's definitely something that always kind of circled around in my mind. And maybe one day. But I would always come back and be like, 'Ahh, that probably won't happen.'"
Westbrook, who had two seasons remaining on his contract in Washington, said he got a call from his friend LeBron James which sparked a series of events that sealed the return to his hometown. "This stuff happened so quickly, all of this happened so fast, the last two weeks or so," Westbrook said. "But we've had brief conversations and talked about obviously what we need to do."
Lakers will have plenty of experience next season
Entering his 14th NBA season, Westbrook will join 19 year vets LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony who joined the Lakers just days after the Wizards traded Russ to the Lakers. "Bron is one of the best players to play this game, and his ability to be able to kind of do everything on the floor allows me to be able to just figure it out," said Westbrook. "I'm coming to a championship-caliber team and my job is to make sure that I'm able to make his game easier for him, and I'll find ways to do that throughout the game."
While the Lakers chances of a second title in three years has sky rocketed since Westbrooks arrival, the hometown kid is most excited to be around family, "Just being able to be with my kids all the time, being able to see my mom and dad and my wife all the time is to me the best thing you can ask for.”
The Lakers will try for an NBA record 18th title this year, as Westbrook seeks his first bit of hardware over his long and illustrious career.