TNT (DR) / Los Angeles Lakers (DR)
After a nightmarish first season with the Lakers, Russell Westbrook still hopes to rise from the ashes and finally shine in the city of angels. How to achieve it? Shaquille O’Neal recently gave him an explosive recipe – a recipe whose merits can reasonably be doubted…
Unless you live recluse in a distant land, everyone has known it for a while: the first season of Russell Westbrook at the Lakers turned into a nightmare. Arrived full of good intentions in the city of angels, the California native crystallized everything that was wrong with the Angelinos. Very incompatible with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and not really motivated to reinvent themselves and find how to work alongside them, the Brodie had a big hassle.
It is no coincidence that the Lakers have spent their entire summer trying to find a trade to get rid of Westbrook and his deadly contract. In vain. The front office now seems obliged to keep it, and to look good publicly, hoping for a miracle and an improvement compared to last year. As it stands, few elements lead to optimism.
Shaq’s cash advice to Russell Westbrook
If the former Thunder is looking for motivation, he can in any case count on Shaquille O’Neal. For the Big Cactus, home crimson and gold legend himself, Westbrook’s failure isn’t down to his bricks, ball losses, questionable defensive effort and unwillingness to adapt. No, according to the Shaq, the point guard simply respected LeBron and Davis too much:
I don’t think the problem was his age. I think, and I say this with respect, he showed too much respect. Me in his place, I don’t care who I play with, I’m going to put my 28 points. People pay a lot of money, I earn tens of millions, I’m going to put my 28 points. And not tell me, as soon as I have the ball: “I will try to serve the other stars”. When I have the ball, I. do my thing. And if I can’t, then I give the ball away. This is how to play. You can’t make concessions all the time. I have to put these 28 points for personal reasons, and for the fans.
If anyone wanted to push Westbrook to take even more snack shots and cut himself off the team, he wouldn’t have gone about it any other way. But O’Neal is not done:
He was just too nice. I don’t know the relationship between him and LeBron, but when you put their names side by side on paper, it’s a hell of a duo. I don’t know why it didn’t work out, but Westbrook was ultra-passive. You must not be passive, you must play your game. He has thought too much, thought too much. When he plays liberated, he’s a monster.
Will Russell Wetbrook rebound at the Lakers this season? Will he at least have the opportunity? For now, there is hope for the Brodie. But not sure that Shaquille O’Neal’s advice is the most relevant to calm the situation…