LA Lakers legend Shaquille O’ Neal makes a very bold statement that Russell Westbrook is nothing but a good role player for the Lakers.
Russell Westbrook finally made his debut for the Lakers against the Warriors. Led by Stephen Curry’s triple-double, the Warriors managed to register an upset win on opening night.
The Lakers had 30-point games from both AD and LeBron, yet came out on the losing end. However, the performance from the new signings disappointed many, particularly Russell Westbrook.
During the Lakers season opener, Westbrook notched 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and had 4 turnovers, and finished with a triple single. Westbrook finished the game with a disappointing +/- score of -23. Westbrook’s opening performance with the Lakers is a continuation of his poor form during the preseason.
His style of play isn’t quite in sync with the Lakers squad just yet. Additionally, he is clearly showing his lack of chemistry with the rest of the squad. The 32-year-old was quite angry after the game, and he’s surely going to do everything in his power to turn things around.
Shaquille O’ Neal diminishes Russell Westbrook’s impact on the Lakers
One person who was not a fan of Russell Westbrook’s signing as well as his first official game as a Laker was Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal had to be reminded that the Lakers are now the Big Three with the addition of Westbrook. O’ Neal responds –
“They still need role players, right? I see Russ as a role player, a damned good one, but he’s a role player. It’s LeBron [James] first, AD second and then Russ. He can get his stuff on the break.”
The veteran guard has always been used to taking on a massive role with high usage. Moreover, he has always been the number 1 or 2 scoring option throughout his career. So, it might take Westbrook a bit of time to integrate himself into the Lakers offense.
Shaq says Russell Westbrook is a ‘role player’
“I see Russ as a role player, a damned good one, but he’s a role player. It’s LeBron first, AD second and then Russ.”https://t.co/dKXzBOqnhl
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 20, 2021
Yes, Russ did have a bad opening night, but it is only one game. There is no need to overreact. Westbrook just needs a bit of time to adjust himself.
Once that happens, it is possible that the Lakers go on a winning streak. After all, they are still the favourites to represent the Western Conference in the 2022 NBA Finals.