Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and teammates encourage Russell Westbrook after his poor performance in the season opener. The newly put-together Lakers squad fell short, 121-114 to the Golden State Warriors. Ironically, all three have lost in their Lakers debut,according to ESPN. James has lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2018, Davis to the LA Clippers in 2019, and Westbrook to the Warriors on Tuesday night.
Russell Westbrook Poor Performance in Los Angeles Lakers Debut
Many are beginning to get concerned with the team dynamic because of the awkward mesh of playing styles. Davis and James had amazing numbers last night as they attempted to carry the load to victory. They stated that Westbrook struggles last night are an understatement. He had -23 for plus/minus, which was the worst on the team. Not to mention, he finished the game with eight points and made four out of 13 shots with an additional four turnovers.
Although this was a disappointing loss to the inferior Warrior team, not all hope was lost. The Lakers biggest moment from this entire game came after the game was over. James and teammates began lifting up one another and talking to Westbrook. They continued to mention that Westbrook is very hard on himself and sometimes he just needs to be assured to help keep his composure.
“I advised Russ to go home and enjoy a comedy,” James shared. “Engaging in something that brings a smile to his face. He tends to be too self-critical. I told him, ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s just one game.'”
Lebron James: ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’
Davis explained that this was almost identical to what James did in his first debut. He said it reminded him of an awfully similar time when he was also in the same predicament and received similar advice from the future Hall of Famer.
“During my first time, I sat beside LB, he glanced at me and said, ‘You’re good, it’s just Game 1,'” Davis reminisced. “He chuckled and cracked jokes on the phone. I thought to myself, ‘Why am I getting worked up?’ I decided to go with the flow. It’s the same with Russ. I told him the same advice. ‘I’ve been in your shoes.’ We shared some words, and he smiled. So, I anticipate him performing better in Friday’s game.”
James is a firm believer that experiences is the greatest teacher. He was beyond content and understanding Westbrook’s poor performance. He hopes that Russ will learn from it and improve on what he can for the next game.
“I simply want him to be kinder to himself,” expressed James. “That’s the message I wanted to convey, not being too tough on himself. When he gets home, he’ll see his three little ones, even if they’re asleep, they’ll bring a smile to his face.”
Westbrook’s Difficulty in Adjusting
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel acknowledges and understands the growing pains not only the team will go through but Westbrook as well. Especially after acquiring nearly a whole new team and squad. He is prepared for the development stages where chemistry must be built amongst all these stars with alternate playstyles.
“More than anyone else, he will need time to adapt,” Vogel acknowledged. “He’s entering our team culture and system. As the new addition, he’ll have to navigate his path. It can be challenging when you’re accustomed to being the primary ball handler, but now he’ll need to play alongside players like Bron and AD.”
“Obviously, we’re going to do whatever it takes to help the team win. However, for us three, we need to fit out as well,” continued Vogel.