The Los Angeles Lakers made the splash of the offseason when they acquired Russell Westbrook, pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form one of the best trios in the NBA.
For Westbrook, not only does coming to the Lakers give him a legit chance to win his first NBA Championship. but it also allows him to play in his hometown for the first time in his professional career.
Westbrook has now been practicing with the Lakers for a week, and after Tuesday’s session, he talked about how it’s finally sinking in that he’s playing for the hometown team that he grew up rooting for.
“Actually I had a moment today just when I was talking to Melo before practice, he was asking me how I was feeling. And I was just like, you know, it’s amazing,” Westbrook said. “Like you look around and you just, you look around you in a Lakers practice and see, I look at things in a different perspective just because not many people have an opportunity to have his position. I’m blessed and thankful to be able to go out and have this platform to use to help inspire other people. So I don’t take any of it for granted and that’s just truly how I feel. And sometimes I’ll just sit back and be like, man, truly blessed to be able to be here in Los Angeles, but not just, that I’m playing for my hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers, is a blessing in itself.”
Westbrook added that there are moments throughout every day that he thinks about and appreciates the situation he’s in.
“Just random, it just be random moments where it hits, you look around, I’m looking around a facility. I look up, sometimes look down at my jersey. Sometimes I’ll look at my locker, driving to practice sometimes like every day I always, I like to live in the moment, embrace and enjoy because you know, it could be gone, taken away from you like that. So I just embrace all those moments, win, lose or draw, regardless of what happened, regardless of good game, bad game, embracing and enjoying the moment.”
Perhaps the coolest aspect of Westbrook playing for the Lakers is the impact he will make on the local community outside of basketball. Westbrook was already heavily involved in the L.A. community, but now that he plays for the Lakers, it should allow for more opportunities to make an impact.
Opportunity to help others remains same for Westbrook
Westbrook did say on Tuesday though that his ability to impact the community and help others is no different now than it was before he played for the Lakers.
“Honestly no, it’s the same for me. I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Westbrook said. “I think now it gives people obviously an opportunity to see it on a bigger platform, but honestly it’s genuinely who I am and it’s genuinely what I want to do. Being back home and being here helps me more being able to get to our underserved communities in the inner city of Los Angeles and be able to impact those kids, the youth here.
“It’s an opportunity to be able to see me being able to pay for the Lakers so that is a plus being back home. But I’ll continue doing the same thing and trying to keep expanding and inspiring as many people as possible in a positive light.”
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