With the addition of Russell Westbrook this offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to be among the championship favorites this season. Unfortunately, that has been far from the case as the team has hovered around .500 all season long.
Circumstances have been far from perfect for the Lakers as players have been in and out of the lineup due to injury and, more recently, the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which has forced the Lakers to add new players such as Isaiah Thomas.
The Lakers are obviously unhappy with the way things are going so far, but Westbrook also knows that no one cares about the team’s issues.
“That’s obvious. Everybody knows that, but nobody cares, they don’t want to hear that,” Westbrook noted. “That’s just reality because every game we get asked the same question of ‘hey can you guys figure it out?’ But everybody obviously knows that we haven’t even been able to see what our team can actually be like thus far.
“But we understand that and like I just said, our job is to be able to keep our head down and stay locked in on one common goal and that’s at the end of the year winning a championship. To do that it’s not gonna be easy, it’s not gonna be an easy road and we understand that and we’ll just stay with it and continue to move forward.”
One thing no one can ever question about Westbrook is his belief in his team. Throughout every rough patch, Westbrook’s confidence in what the Lakers can be has never shaken and he remains optimistic about his team, as long as they stick together.
“I’m very optimistic,” Westbrook added. “We’ve been through so much as a team already and still going through it as a unit and the best part about it for me this far is just the ups and downs. That’s the NBA season.”
“The most important part is that we stay together, never divide, never panic, never succumb to what the people on the outside of our team are saying. Just make sure that we stay close-knit and find ways to be able to stick together through whatever it is because we’re a team that doesn’t rely on excuses. We understand the circumstance that we have in our locker room and we got to make the best of it, it’s as simple as that.”
Getting to championship level seems far away for the Lakers right now, but as long as the team is embracing what Westbrook is saying and sticks together to come through the other side, they do have the talent to reach that goal.
Westbrook says Lakers must find ways to win games
The Lakers have dealt with so many obstacles this season and have been unable to keep a steady lineup and rotation. But through all that, Westbrook says the team just has to figure out ways to come out on top in the meantime.
“There are some things, we’re adjusting to the fly, which right now is what it is. No excuses for that,” Westbrook said. “But we just got to find ways to win games, that’s it. Right now, just try to find ways to be able to win games.”