DeAndre Jordan joins Russell Westbrook for the interview. He also uses Russ’ catchphrase "Why not" to explain why he chose the Lakers. (0:35).
EL SEGUNDO (Calif.) -- Russell Westbrook shared a profound realization with LeBron James after they first took to the court this summer for a joint workout.
"It was going be successful," Westbrook said to ESPN Tuesday at the Lakers' annual media conference, which took place at the team practice facility.
James and Westbrook shared some sweat equity in a Beverly Hills high school gym in mid-August. This was nearly six weeks before James invited Westbrook and his fellow teammates to Las Vegas for an informal training and bonding weekend.
James, 36, is four years younger than Westbrook, 32. However, his career includes four titles to Westbrook’s one. James actually won his first ring at Westbrook's expense when the Miami Heat defeated Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2012 NBA Finals.
ESPN's Westbrook stated that LeBron is the best of all, because he understands what it takes to win championships. My understanding of the commitment, understanding what sacrifices we will both have to make, [Anthony Davis] and myself, as well as finding ways to win a championship. That's our ultimate goal. We cannot be distracted and we can't let our ultimate goal get in the way.
Although they don't share a championship count, they do have commonalities when it comes to their style of play. With 184 triple-doubles, Westbrook is the league's leader. James is the only player to have a Triple-double in Finals. James was second in assists, while Westbrook was first in assists last season. They are both on the shortlist when it comes to the most physically gifted players their generation has produced.
Westbrook is convinced that James can help Westbrook become even more successful.
Westbrook stated, "When you have the chance to play against one among the greatest players ever and consistently, it is a great help for your game." It helps me prepare, it makes me more focused on what I need to do to reach a point where my focus can be on the things that I need to concentrate on. "I'm looking forward, and looking forward to what we can do together this season.
James claims that Westbrook's uncompromising style of play will immediately impact L.A.
James said that he "ups our pace immediately" and was quick to praise ESPN. He's always in the top five when it comes to pace. No matter what team he is with, he is able get out of the game and get on the break to be able get some early points before the defense sets in. This creates the opportunity. He's also an exceptional playmaker. His ability to pass the ball is something that many people don't discuss. While everyone can see the scoring, the rebounds and other things, what is not talked about is his ability to pass the ball, and his ability make teammates better. Being his teammate is something we all look forward too.
James and Davis tried unsuccessfully to recruit Kawhi Leonard as their third star in 2019. Leonard chose to play for the L.A. Clippers, but the Lakers won the championship anyway with James and Davis as a great tandem. Why did the Lakers decide to make their superstar roster a trio in this offseason?
Davis stated to ESPN that Russ was keen to return home and that they were able to accomplish this. "No knock on the team last year, because we don’t know how much better we could have been with all of the injuries. We found a way to make it work when Russell reached out to us and stated that he wanted home.
L.A. sent Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious CaldwellPope to L.A., Montrezl Harrold, and its 2021 first-round selection to the Washington Wizards for the former MVP.
Davis believes that the pieces will fit together, much like Westbrook did after his first session with James.
Davis stated that he was excited to have a player like him, who will bring energy, motor, and defensive end every night. He's excited and we're thrilled to have him.