The Los Angeles Lakers generated tremendous buzz by acquiring Russell Westbrook. The former league MVP‘s arrival creates a Big 3 that will lead the Lakers’ roster. It’s also led team owner Jeanie Buss to express an eager message regarding its newest star player to the fan base.
Lakers acquire Russell Westbrook
The Lakers shook up the offseason after trading for Westbrook.
After the early playoff exit, Los Angeles desired to add a playmaking guard alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Westbrook fits the bill as he has proven that he’s an all-around talent throughout much of his career.
He’s coming off averaging 22.2 points, a league-best 11.7 assists, and a career-high 11.5 rebounds. It marked the fourth time in the last five years he’s averaged a triple-double.
The former league MVP’s presence provides the Lakers a Big 3 that anchors the roster. The 32-year-old is in the fourth year of his five-year, $206.7 million deal that includes a roughly $47 million player option for the 2022-23 season.
All that hasn’t taken long for team owner Jeanie Buss to express her happiness with the latest big-splash addition.
Russell Westbrook will love what Lakers owner Jeanie Buss just said
Westbrook‘s arrival to the Lakers gives the franchise a third star player to build the roster around.
It also marks a homecoming for Westbrook, having grown up in the Los Angeles area, including playing collegiately at UCLA before entering the NBA. Team owner Jeanie Buss recently exuded excitement about having the former league MVP in a Lakers’ uniform.
“You know we’ve got a big three now, and Russell is somebody that’s from L.A., went to UCLA,” Buss said via The Athletic. “I think our fans are going to be just cuckoo for him, are going to be so happy that he’s here. It’s like the return of one of our own.
Westbrook holds more than enough motivation to make the most of the unique opportunity. It may present the best chance to win his first NBA title alongside two of the game’s best talents. It will require a significant adjustment with his game, but the nine-time All-Star possesses every reason to adjust his playing style.
His performance will play a pivotal factor in determining the Lakers’ chances to vie for an NBA title. The enormous amount of pressure is on his shoulders, but he’s prepared to do whatever it takes.
“Any time an opportunity like this comes about, it can be stressful and can be a lot of emotions,” Westbrook said at his introductory press conference. “Ultimately, being in this league, the biggest thing for me when you know teams that actually wants you that means more than anything else. At that point, it’s my job to make sure I come and do what I am supposed to do. That’s to come to compete and compete for a championship.”
Los Angeles aiming for NBA title contention
Since the Lakers acquired Westbrook, it’s generated greater championship or bust expectations.
It’s led to the conversation that Los Angeles may be heading toward an inevitable NBA Finals matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Much will need to transpire ahead favorably, but the Lakers possess a promising roster filled with plenty of veteran talent behind the star power.
The front office constructed a supporting cast consisting of shooters and versatile defenders. Yes, it’s one thing to look good on paper, but another to prove it on the court.
Los Angeles will have the opportunity to dispel the doubt over their roster age and Westbrook’s fit. Time will tell if the Lakers put together a team that can capture the franchise’s 18th championship.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.