The revamped Los Angeles Lakers went through the first training camp practice on Wednesday, with Russell Westbrook getting his first on-court action with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as teammates.
After practice concluded, Davis and Westbrook spoke to the media in a joint presser. Both players opened up about what appeared to be a fun practice session, which was highlighted by trash-talking and competitiveness.
“We got a bunch of guys that’s been competing for a long time,” Westbrook said. “That’s the reason a lot of these guys are Hall of Famers. Competing and having a competitive spirit is a part of our practice, part of our DNA. It’s going to be a part of our team and our mindset. Pushing each other each and every day.”
Along with this veteran squad embracing a competitive spirit in its first training camp practice, the trash-talking was on another level, as Davis pointed out.
“Every day! That’s how we get better,” Davis said. “Compete against each other and talking shit and all that. We got a lot of shit talkers on the team. It’s going to be a great year for sure.”
Even head coach Frank Vogel took notice of the competitiveness in his first practice with a lot of new faces. Vogel was entertained and elated by what he saw from his new-look roster headlined by the Big 3 of James, Westbrook and Davis.
“The only time you got to pull it in as when they get too consumed with the officiating, which did happen from time to time today, which was fully expected,” Vogel said. “But the practice was really like let’s do as much quick drill work to sort of implement our system and then get playing five on five as quickly as possible. So we did play a lot of five on five today, there was a lot of competitive spirit on display, and it was exciting to watch. And for the most part, the guys weren’t too paralyzed with what we’re trying to do system-wise, and we were able to just play with randomness and flow, and it was fun to watch.”
It’s a good sign to hear about this kind of energy being displayed in practice sessions, especially with a veteran squad. Of course, only time will tell if it’ll carry over into games during the regular season, but so far, it appears this Lakers squad is on the right track.
Vogel gives insight into how he will handle preseason
These training camp practices will continue throughout the week at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo in preparation for a six-game preseason, which will get underway on Sunday against the Brookyln Nets.
While the Lakers’ main guys won’t play all six of those games, Vogel is hoping to have them all play together in at least two of them.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!