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Shaq weighs in on Westbrook and the Lakers and how to turn it around

The NBA and Lakers legend explained why he thinks Westbrook failed to make an impact.

Russ and Lebron getting ready for the Lakers
Christian PetersenGetty Images

The failure of Russell Westbrook to make a significant impact for the Los Angeles Lakers in his first season with the team has been attributed to a number of different factors by both basketball experts and fans of the team. Now that Shaquille O’Neal, a Lakers legend and Hall of Fame center, has weighed in on the debate, he offers an opinion that is a little unexpected regarding Russ’ forgettable first season in Hollywood.

Shaq makes a valid point here. On the other hand, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Russ collaborated with LeBron James. The mere presence of The King commands the utmost respect from his fellow players; there is no question about that. On the other hand, Shaq believes that Westbrook displayed a little bit too much of this and that he somehow lost himself in the process.

“I don’t think it was his age. I think he was just, and I say this respectfully, I just think he was showing too much respect”, explained Shaq.

Westbrook was dominant what is going on?

Before joining the Lakers, Westbrook was a member of the Washington Wizards, where he recorded a triple-double regularly. Additionally, he led the league in assists with 11.7 per game, which put him in the first place. All of these things point to the fact that Russell Westbrook is still capable of playing the game. Is it possible that he could have misplaced all of this in a few months?

The Lakers Legend continued, “He was just being too nice.” “I don’t know the relationship between him and LeBron, but if you put that down on paper and I don’t know nothing about basketball, that’s a hell of a backcourt, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James. Why it didn’t work, I don’t know, but watching him play, he was super passive.”

Russ will likely be entering his second year with the Lakers, and things have become a little bit more complicated with the addition of Patrick Beverley to the mix. Should we be looking forward to a significant turnaround from the former MVP of the league? Is it possible that the Lakers could benefit from Shaq’s presence and Westbrook’s decision to abandon his Mr. Nice Guy persona and return to his “old ways,” so to speak? I guess all we can do now is wait and see what happens.


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