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 told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,”James said. “Do something that can put a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s 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.
“My first time, I sat next to LB, he looked at me, and he said, ‘You’re fine, this is Game 1,'” Davis recalled. “He’s laughing. He’s joking on the phone. And I’m like, ‘Why am I upset then?’ I kind of just went with the flow. And it’s the same thing with Russ. I told him the same thing. ‘I’m the same way you were.’ We said some things to him, and he smiled and things like that, so I expect him to be better in the game Friday.”
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 just don’t want him to be so hard on himself,” James said. “That was the one thing that I hoped to get through to him, don’t be so hard on himself. Go home and you’re going to see three babies that he has that might be asleep, but they’ll put a smile on 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.
“Him more than anybody, it’s going to be an adjustment period,” Vogel said. “He’s coming into our culture, our system. He’s the new guy, and he’s got to find his way. It’s difficult when you’re used to being the guy who has the ball most nights, to be able to play off of others 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.