Russell Westbrook’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers has been questioned from the day he joined the team last summer.
Many doubted whether Westbrook would fit into L.A.’s system and find a way to co-exist next to LeBron James on the floor. The 33-year-old guard has had to make several adjustments to his game to use his skillset in a way that benefits L.A.
Despite criticism, Westbrook has always tried to find positives when things got tough in the first half of the season. Even though his name has started to appear in trade rumors, the 2017 NBA MVP insists it will not affect his mindset, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick:
“I never worry,” he fired back. “Do the job. Be professional. Every year, my name is in trade (rumors). It never, never, never seeps into how I approach what I do. It’s kind of what I was mentioning back there (during the press conference). I see this game so different (in terms of) how to use it to be able to impact things.
“Regardless of if (a trade) did happen or if it didn’t happen, nothing’s going to change my mentality or my purpose. I feel like I have a purpose that’s bigger than basketball and I always keep that as my forefront regardless of what happens inside of pro sports.
Westbrook appeared to have used the accumulating frustration of the season as a motivating force in the recent win over the Utah Jazz. The guard threw down a spectacular dunk over Rudy Gobert which, he thinks, gave the Lakers “an extra boost” just before halftime.
Westbrook still happy to L.A. despite on-court struggles
Westbrook has reiterated he feels happy in L.A., enjoying his return to Southern California — the place where he grew up.
The guard pointed out he can see his family more often thanks to the move which, the veteran playmaker says, he values more than anything else.
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