LeBron James calls out doubters on Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis fit
Russell Westbrook is arguably the worst high-volume three-point shooter in NBA history, and hasn’t exactly made sustained efforts in the past to diversify his offensive game when sharing the floor with another high-usage superstar. LeBron James, obviously, is aware of those concerns and others about Westbrook’s fit with the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s just not buying into them like so many league followers who expect their partnership to crumble on the game’s biggest stage.
Speaking at Lakers Media Day on Tuesday, James forcefully pushed back on the notion that Westbrook is a poor fit alongside he and Anthony Davis. Why? In large part due to the four-time champion’s success answering similar questions facing his controversial partnership with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat a decade ago.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 28, 2021
James’ frustration is understandable. He’s proven time and again, wherever he’s playing and whoever his teammates are, that his brilliance alone helps sand perceived square pegs into round holes. The positional and stylistic versatility of he and Davis—starting at center and power forward this season—will also go a long way toward alleviating offensive issues sparked by Westbrook’s lack of shooting ability.
But the Lakers don’t have few doubters when it comes to regular season successs. It’s the playoffs where many believe Los Angeles’ marriage with Westbrook will fail, and his track record doesn’t exactly suggest he’ll be ready to adapt when postseason defenses shrink the floor to make the Lakers’ new point guard beat them from the outside.
Maybe the overwhelming talent of James, Davis and Westbrook will render those playoff adjustments moot. Until Los Angeles proves as much, though, there’s absolutely enough concern about Westbrook’s fit for it to be a story throughout the regular season.