Russell Westbrook has achieved a number of great accolades in his career, joining the Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s all-time triple-double leader.
Westbrook’s record sparked hopes the 2017 NBA MVP could become an all-around threat on offense for L.A., taking part of the burden on that part of the floor off LeBron James’ shoulders. Those hopes might have not completely come to fruition, although the 33-year-old guard has shown he could become a dangerous weapon for the Purple and Gold in several games.
In the 122-109 win over the Washington Wizards, Westbrook put his playmaking ability on display — ending up with nine assists, most of them in the third quarter. His first dime after halftime held particular significance as Austin Reaves turned a backdoor layup into a deuce off the guard’s pass, and Westbrook moved past Andre Miller into the 11th place on the all-time assist list.
“For one, it’s just a blessing,” Westbrook said of his achievement. “It’s a blessing just for me for many reasons. Being able to accomplish something to be in the league for so long to be able to do so and passing someone like Andre Miller who I know personally, so that’s just an honor in itself.
“For somebody like myself that early on in my career and even now, kind of getting labeled as a guy that doesn’t pass – to do that consistently is a big thing for me. I’m grateful for that.”
Westbrook’s playmaking helped the Lakers seal a much-needed victory. The Purple and Gold jumped 2.5 games ahead of the 10th-placed New Orleans Pelicans, taking an important step toward securing a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
Frank Vogel emphasizes need to support Westbrook
Frank Vogel came to Westbrook’s defense ahead of the win over the Wizards, saying the Lakers need to support their guard amid the harassment he and his family has received.
“Support. It’s just support,” Vogel said. “He’s an important player for us. He’s a part of our family. Anytime a player is feeling any type of impact at home with his family, that’s of great concern and should be handled with care. And I hope people can respect what he had to say postgame the other night because it should never come to that.”
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