Russell Westbrook dawned a freshly dyed light brown fade as he sat down for his first press conference as a Los Angeles Laker. The Hawthorne, California native is finally back in the city that raised him, hooping with his hometown Lakers.
From an undersized point guard at Leuzinger High School, to suiting up in the true blue and gold of UCLA, to being traded to three teams in three years and finally landing at home, few NBA careers have come as full circle as Westbrook’s has.
Yet, as the 2017 League MVP sits between Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Frank Vogel, he sets the doubters straight on how the team’s offense will coexist with two seemingly ball-dominant players.
Emphasizing a team-oriented approach, Westbrook is familiar with impacting games in a thousand different ways without the ball, as he alluded to in his introductory presser.
“I’m coming to a championship-caliber team and my job is to make sure that I’m able to make his game easier for him (LeBron), and I’ll find ways to do that throughout my game,” Westbrook said.
Questioning how an individual (who averaged a triple-double for entire season) will fit with a team stacked full with talent makes little to no sense. Westbrook has proven the doubters wrong, time and time again. In addition, this time around, he’s got his extended family—his father, mother and brother with him.
“Just being able to be with my kids all the time, being able to see my mom and dad and my wife all the time is to me the best thing you can ask for,” Westbrook said. “Being back home.”