Lakers proprietor Jeanie Buss talked in regards to the construction and inside workings of the franchise in a current interview with Sam Amick of Athletics.
When requested about Los Angeles’ acquisition of controversial veteran Patrick Beverley, who has a long-standing rivalry with the Lakers guard Russell WestbrookBuss defended the transfer and the offensive guard who struggled in his debut marketing campaign with Los Angeles.
“Yeah, I keep in mind all of the video that went round when the Lakers introduced in Matt Barnes, (with) his relationship with Kobe through the years (and) being among the finest defenders on Kobe,” Buss advised Amick. “And now he turns into teammates with Kobe. We have seen these tales earlier than. Pat Beverley was introduced in right here to play protection, to be that man who is aware of how one can push his teammates, (who) units an instance of how he approaches his job. … So it has nothing to do with Russia. And like I stated, I feel folks prefer to make up tales and make one thing up and that is not the case.
“All I can say is, from my perspective, (Westbrook) was our greatest participant final 12 months. He performed nearly each single recreation, confirmed up, labored laborious. You realize, I might have cherished to have seen what this group would have regarded like if they’d stayed wholesome. It is actually laborious to win when Anthony Davis is not on the court docket. LeBron (James) was harm so much throughout the season. However Russ confirmed up each recreation and performed laborious each night time. And, , I simply actually admire him for who he’s and what he brings to the group.”
Westbrook was extensively criticized for his efficiency with the Lakers within the 2021–22 season. The nine-time All-Star teamed up with James and Davis on what was alleged to be an NBA Championship group. As a substitute, accidents sidelined James and Davis for elements of the season, whereas Westbrook’s effectivity declined considerably in comparison with his time earlier than the Lakers. Los Angeles completed the season with a 33–49 report.
In 78 video games, Westbrook averaged 18.5 factors per recreation whereas posting a career-worst 15.0 participant effectivity ranking final season, taking pictures just below 30% from three-point vary and averaging 3.8 turnovers per recreation . It was a far cry from the participant who gained the 2016–17 MVP award and was named the All-Star MVP twice.
Amick texted Buss to make clear what he meant when he known as Westbrook the group’s finest participant.
“The phrase I ought to have used was ‘constant,'” she wrote. He performed 78 video games final season.
Westbrook has been embroiled in offseason drama as followers have known as for the 33-year-old to be traded. And now, with the arrival of longtime enemy Beverley, Athletics Jovan Buha reported that it is attainable Westbrook could possibly be despatched house — much like how the Rockets dealt John Wall — or traded.
Beverley and Westbrook’s feud started within the 2013 playoffs, when Beverley scrambled for a unfastened ball and hit Westbrook within the knee as he tried to name a timeout. Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus because of the sport and was out for the remainder of the playoffs. Since then, the 2 have traded blows forwards and backwards by press conferences and social media. Beverley even known as him “rubbish” at one level.
Westbrook, nonetheless, seems to have Buss’ help. He is additionally been publicly defended by James, who on Thursday responded to a tweet about Westbrook saying, “Cannot await him to depart this season!”
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