Are the Clippers NBA championship bound in 2023? That depends on who you ask. The Clippers have a talented superstar trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but luck, and health, have not been on their side.
Westbrook's comments came on a day when Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard fired back at the NBA over its load management narrative. The Clippers have been linked to James Harden in recent trade rumors.
On Monday Westbrook was asked about whether this season is “championship or bust” for his team and offered a surprising response.
“Championship or busy mentality is not a real thing to me. That's a thing that people make up. You could accomplish a lot more. You can create brotherhood, you can learn a lot more about people. There's so many lessons I've personally learned throughout the season, friends I've… pic.twitter.com/sBtg9F4CKv
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) October 2, 2023
Last season Westbrook averaged 15.9 points and 5.8 rebounds with 7.5 assists while shooting just over 43% from the field. At age 34, Westbrook is in the prime of his career according to some metrics but hasn't been playing his best basketball.
Many fans of both the Lakers and Clippers have criticized him for his turnover-prone play while mocking his lack of outside shooting and mistakes at times.
“This is why he didn't fit in with the Lakers,” one fan said in the comments section on X.
“Y'all nasty trying to manipulate what he said so he can be hated,” another fan added.
Others pointed out that Westbrook is scrutinized by the media.
“But when Giannis says this it's apparently inspiring,” another fan said with a laughing and crying emoji.
Clippers and Westbrook fans are hoping for an improvement on the team's ninth seed in the West finish last season.
With veteran Nicolas Batum rounding out the team's star-studded starting lineup, the Clippers have the right mix of experience and talent to make a run. The question now is whether they have the will, or the vision.