Kevin Durant, Paul George and Bradley Beal have all testified repeatedly over the years about how awesome Russell Westbrook is.
But if the words of 3 Hall of Fame talents are not enough, there’s a simple stat that demonstrates this. And it has everything to do with how good a floor general the OKC Thunder legend has been.
You might recall that Westbrook has never not played alongside an All-Star in his career. He’s shared the court with Kevin Durant, James Harden, Paul George and Bradley Beal among lethal scorers thus far.
The expectation for the Brody in Los Angeles will be to take the playmaking load off LeBron James. Anthony Davis and LeBron will both be expected to feed off Russ’ court vision and ability to dish out to the open man.
Both of the Lakers’ All-NBA First Team talents are more than capable of playing off the ball. And in case you had any doubt about how well Russ could mesh with them, here’s a stat.
Kevin Durant, Paul George and Bradley Beal all had their best scoring years with Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant won 4 scoring titles during a 5-season span at the start of the 2010s. The Washington DC-born forward also had the most efficient year of his career alongside Russ, averaging 50-40-90 in the 2012-13 season.
Paul George played alongside Russ for 2 years, from 2017-2019. Many believe that PG’s 2018-19 season was his best campaign in the league. He finished 3rd in DPOY as well as MVP voting that year. George’s scoring average of above 28 ppg was made possible by Russ.
And finally, Bradley Beal was a serious threat to take the scoring title in the 2020-21 season. His scoring title battle with Steph Curry went down to the wire in May before Steph cantered to the title.
The expectation from Westbrook will be that he’ll push LeBron to be a back-to-the-basket power forward. This is a position that James has only played in Miami – he loves having the ball in his hands.
But a hands-off approach in the presence of Russell Westbrook would probably be the best approach. For the Brody can take advantage of any 1-on-1 matchup on the floor with his irresistible speed.