The last train from Westbrook

The transfer of the seismic base to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Washington Wizards has been the summer bomb in the NBA market.


After eleven years in Oklahoma City Thunder, where he became more than a player, a kind of sun king after Kevin Durant's traumatic departure in 2016, Russell Westbrook has been through three teams in three years, the unlikely mobilization of a contract. dragging a $ 205 million extension as Westbrook's true worth as a superstar is increasingly being questioned. His meeting at the Houston Rockets with James Harden went awry, and at the Washington Wizards it only lasted one season. The Lakers appeared out of nowhere and bang, the NBA went into a seizure.

In a very difficult course, devastated by injuries and mentally exhausted by the short rest between seasons that the pandemic calendar forced, the Lakers went from the title in 2020 to fall in the first round of the playoffs. So they were looking for a hit for the third LeBron James-Anthony Davis project. Time is running out because LeBron will turn 37 in December, during what will be his nineteenth season in the NBA.LeBron's Lobby

The Lakers had almost closed an operation in which they were going to take control of shooter Buddy Hield, but it was LeBron himself who lobbied for the Westbrook option. Probably because he knows better than anyone that the NBA is, after all, a League of Stars. So the Lakers skipped the risk calculations and formed a big three as atomic as it is difficult to assess by fit: LeBron, Davs and the increasingly unclassifiable Westbrook. A relentless power turbine, a one-time production player, and a tremendous playmaker. But also a 32-year-old veteran with a physique that is not what he was and with a very questionable decision-making. Especially when it comes to managing his erratic exterior shot.

Theoretically, LeBron and Davis need pitchers on their side. But the Lakers believe that Westbrook's virtues are so powerful that the ordeal, although risky, is worth it. Coach Frank Vogel talks about "sacrificing" and "working" to build a team that will, that's for sure, dynamite in quick transitions. And Westbrook himself assured in his presentation that "they will find a way" to make the team work. It is, in fact, his last train in the great competitive level, his opportunity to be champion. Of returning to an NBA final that he has only stepped on once, in 2012. It has already rained.

"I can't get used to it"

Westbrook can transform its narrative and its legacy ... or permanently damage it. It is his bet on homecoming: "I still don't get used to the idea. I'm from Los Angeles, I grew up being a Lakers fan, trying to skip class to go to the celebrations of their titles ...", he assured when landed in Hollywood. Born in Long Beach, he also enrolled at UCLA, where he could not fulfill the plan to play with his best friend, Khlecey Barrs III, for whom he wears the KB3 logo on a bracelet and on his sneakers. Barrs died playing basketball, the sport that now gives this last great opportunity to a player who has an MVP and has been an all-star nine times, two top scorer and three top assistant in the NBA. The one with the most triple-doubles (184) and the only one besides Oscar Robertson capable of averaging it in a full season (in three in a row, in fact: 2016-19). An earthquake in the successes and the errors. So this pharaonic project of the Lakers 2021-22 will be a success for history or a titanic catastrophe. A no more ideal for Westbrook to cling to a nickname that comes to him now better than ever: Why Not. Why not

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