The main criticism surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ additions this offseason mostly had to do with the age of the players brought in. Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore are all in their 30s already.
In fairness to the Lakers, the main focus of the team was to surround their three stars of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook with as much shooting as possible and most of their additions fit the bill. That especially goes for Ellington, who is a career 38.2% 3-point shooter and knocked down 42.2% from deep last season.
The 12-year veteran is not concerned with the ages of the players on the Lakers roster, and even quoted LeBron James’ now-deleted tweet.
“I don’t think it’ll be a problem at all. I think age is just a number,” Ellington said. “If you look, I feel like guys that have been pretty healthy, still moving really well and even some guys that are playing some of their best basketball right now at this age.
“With the experience and type of leadership that we have, I don’t think that’ll be any problem. Like Bron said, just make sure everyone keeps that same energy when we get on the court.”
The Lakers have a great combination of veterans who are focused on one goal of winning a championship. The only of their additions to hoist the trophy are Howard, who did so with the Lakers in 2020, and Ariza, who did so in 2009.
Ellington has likely been the farthest away of all the veteran additions. Being part of nine teams in his 12-year career, Ellington has only been to the playoffs three times and has never been out of the first round. Now on a true contender for the first time, he is ready to go.
“I’m just full of excitement,” the veteran added. “Obviously, you start looking at taking care of your body a little bit differently. Start preparing for the marathon. Always keep in your mind that this thing is going to go for a long time, so in terms of the work you’re doing and the type of pounding you’re putting on your body. You stay conscious of that, but I’m going to prepare the same way. Even more, obviously, this year. Just to be prepared for this championship run.
“I don’t think you do anything different. Take care of your body a little bit more and be conscious of the longevity of the season.”
Ellington’s shooting could be absolutely crucial for the Lakers this season and the veteran realizes that he needs to be at his best this season and will do everything possible to ensure that happens.
Ellington says it didn’t take a lot of convincing to join Lakers
Ellington had been linked to the Lakers before free agency began, so when it was announced that he was re-joining the franchise it wasn’t much of a surprise. The question was whether Ellington wanted to join as he would only be able to receive a minimum contract with the Lakers. As it turned out, it didn’t take much convincing at all.
“He just kept it all the way real and kept it clear. He told me the way he felt I could help this team. He told me that he had tried to get me in the past and it didn’t work out,” Ellington said of Pelinka. “To be honest, it really didn’t take a lot because I had already looked at this team and I felt I could really help in a lot of ways, and now with Russ coming here, it made it even clearer for me.
“We just had a great conversation and he told me how he really sees me, values me and how I can really help this team. It wasn’t a very long conversation, but it was a pretty crisp and straight-to-the-point conversation, so I appreciated that and that helped me make an easy decision.”
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