After the 2021-22 season ended, it was clear that the Russell Westbrook trade did not work out in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers.
While all the turmoil and failure can’t be attributed solely to Westbrook, the point guard has his fair share of the blame to take after his first year in Los Angeles went up in flames. Westbrook’s poor shooting, decision-making and unwillingness to adapt hurt the Lakers on the floor and he didn’t help himself in his exit interview when he failed to take any accountability for the team’s poor season.
Most people would agree that Westbrook’s fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis has no chance of working out, but former teammate Malik Monk believes that the three can actually make it work, via TMZ:
“They grown men,” Monk said. “Especially when they have convos like that, it’ll work out for them. They all great.”
Monk got to see up close what the dynamic between the Lakers’ Big 3 was like, and for him to say this after the season they all endured is mildly surprising. However, players tend to give their NBA brethren the benefit of the doubt so Monk’s opinion isn’t so far-fetched when looking at it from that perspective.
It wasn’t a stretch to say that Monk was actually the team’s third-best player because of how seamless he fit offensively, which is yet another indictment on how the Westbrook experiment went. However, new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham seems excited to coach the mercurial guard and laid out a plan for how he can be successful for the Lakers during the 2022-23 season.
Whether or not Westbrook actually buys in to Ham’s plans for him remains to be seen, but should he remain on the roster it’s the only path for him to make it work next to James and Davis.
Malik Monk credits LeBron James for helping shape his career
Monk was able to parlay his successful stint with the Lakers into a two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings. When talking about where his career is now, Monk made sure to credit James, via TMZ:
“LeBron had a big part of everything,” Monk said when asked how James shaped his career. “He had a big part in me coming to L.A.”
“It’s Bron, bro. He gon’ try to help every teammate he comes in contact with. So, I have nothing bad to say about him.”
Monk previously expressed appreciation for the opportunity to play with James, with who he enjoyed the best year of his young career playing alongside.
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