17-time Champions of the National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to have a solid solid off-season, but team still manages to dominate headlines.
Reports making the rounds have it that during the first weekend of the just concluded Summer League in Vegas, that Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook huddled up on a conference call to draw comparison and commit to making things better in the upcoming season with the Yellow and Purple.
While their biggest acquisition to this point has been Lonnie Walker IV on the mid-level, they have found themselves constantly in rumors because of the status of Westbrook.
Russ at the Centre of the Storm
The Lakers were considered to be a frontrunner after the addition of Westbrook last summer, but have struggled, largely due to health issues, lack of production and defense from their supporting cast.
Westbrook bore the brunt of the blame due to his shooting struggles and high turnover rate despite averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 appearances.
He has been rumored to be included in several trade scenarios, most notably a package for Nets point guard Kyrie Irving—James’s former teammate who helped him win an NBA title with the Cavaliers back in 2016. Westbrook, however, has reportedly not requested a trade despite rumor mills that he wants out.
.@ShannonSharpe on reports of the Lakers Big 3 vowing to "make it work"— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 19, 2022
"I believe Russ wants out of LA…But this phone call was about playing with the cards you're dealt. They're realizing the Nets aren't dealing them Kyrie. No one is going to take the $47M off their hands." pic.twitter.com/52RBdaiEma
This could be seen as an act of solidarity between the Lakers’ star players, and perhaps a message to the team’s front office that they want to run it back together.
Next Campaign Will Determine Lots
The struggles of Westbrook in LA was quite unexpected. He is a former regular season MVP who came highly rated based on the heroics of his past years in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards.
Be that as it may, the guard’s work ethic is not in doubt and has also been building a working relationship with new head coach Darvin Ham, reflecting his desire to be successful as a Laker..
The Lakers had a forgettable season in the campaign, failing to make the post-season with a less than stellar record, finishing 11th with a 33–49 record, one game behind the last spot for the NBA Play-In Tournament .
It was the team’s worst record since 2016/17, slightly better than the Lakers’ worst five seasons.
.@KendrickPerkins believes the Lakers can be successful with Russell Westbrook next season 🤔— First Take (@FirstTake) July 19, 2022
"If they can get on one accord, [If] they can put they differences aside. … absolutely they should run it back!" pic.twitter.com/PZHS1mg81f
Hence, Westbrook has got a lot to prove in the coming season, and with the show of brotherhood and encouragement coming from Lebron James and Anthony Davis, it appears the Lakers’ Big 3, as well as the supporting cast on the roster definitely knows what is at stake.