LeBron James and Anthony Davis campaigned for the Los Angeles Lakers to sign Russell Westbrook last summer, hoping to create a dominant Big 3 that would help them fight for the title.
The Lakers trio never got a chance to test its true potential due to injuries. But even when James, Davis and Westbrook played together, L.A. didn’t seem like a title contender. The Purple and Gold went 11-10 when they had all three of them on the floor.
James has a history of falling out with teammates when things go wrong, former Cleveland Cavalier co-star Kyrie Irving being perhaps the best example. But Westbrook said the failures of the 2021-22 season didn’t impact his friendship with James.
“I mean, it didn’t affect it, like, off the floor and trying to figure out on the floor,” he said. “Obviously the ultimate part is that we both know that this season didn’t go the way we wanted it to. At least from my perspective, I know Bron as well, but it didn’t affect any aspect for me.
“I was trying … my job is to try to make the game easier for him and I was trying to do that when I had abilities to better do so. And then after, off the floor, we still stayed tight, and then that won’t change.”
While Westbrook’s tenure with the Lakers did not go as either he or James had hoped when the deal went down, some things are bigger than basketball so it is good to see that their relationship off-the-court remains in tact.
Rob Pelinka non-committal on Westbrook’s future
Reports suggest the Lakers will look for ways to part ways with Westbrook in the summer. To fuel the rumors, vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka gave a very vague answer when asked about the 2017 NBA MVP’s future.
“Russ is a Hall of Fame player that gave everything he could to this organization this year,” he said.
“He battled every game and we’re so appreciative of that. In terms of Russell Westbrook and his future, part of that is in his control. First things first, he has a player option that I’m sure he’ll sit down with his agent and have discussions around that, and like any player, we’ll partner with him after that decision is made about what’s best for his future.”
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