The entire Los Angeles Lakers roster received a much needed break against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday afternoon. In LeBron James’ homecoming, he got the whole Lakers lineup involved as he easily gained a triple-double in front of his former home crowd.
Russell Westbrook, who has had a particularly rough season while donning the Purple and Gold, was having a good time on and off the court. The Lakers guard was able to rack up 11 rebounds and four assists with his 20 points to help the team cruise to victory.
It seems Westbrook has started finding a groove on the team, just in time for the postseason. The past couple of games, he’s had a smarter shot selection and has taken on a larger assisting role rather than being shot-focused. While he’s still committing his usual turnovers, he seems more confident on the floor than he has all season.
Postgame, the positivity kept coming from Westbrook’s corner. He sat cheerfully and answered questions about his and others’ performances. The reason why was plastered on his chest:
Russ loving his birthday gift from his son, Noah 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/glxrHleKh6
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 22, 2022
Far from his usual eye-catching designer outfits, Westbrook’s gray cashmere sweater featured a drawing from his four-year-old son, Noah. He made it a point to share who he was wearing.
“My sweater, my son gave me this for my birthday. He drew this for me and he had it made for me on a little cashmere sweater,” Westbrook said. “He must have a lot of money, I don’t know where he got it from, but this is me, that’s him, this is the sunshine, clouds. So he’s an artistic young kid so I wanted to make sure you see it.”
A beaming Westbrook was a welcome change from the player we’ve seen all year. Following weeks of rumors being reported about the guard’s position with the team, and incidents of harassment between fans and his family, positive nights for Westbrook have been few and far in between.
Crucial games from Westbrook have helped boost his confidence
The last three games have featured some of the best basketball from Westbrook since he was with the Washington Wizards. The Lakers have won two crucial games thanks to the Brody, and are that much closer to securing a Play-In Tournament spot.
When asked about the up-and-downs of the season, Westbrook said the one thing that hasn’t changed is his belief in himself.
“I have an unbelievable amount of faith and really just sticking with that,” he said. “When you find ways to be able to stick and land on my faith, everything else will fall in place. So as the season prolongs, I never waver, as you guys know. I’ve been consistent with my messaging all year on confidence and different things of that nature, just finding a way to make plays for our team.”
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