‘Needs to Be Himself’: LeBron James Lays Out Advice to Russell Westbrook After a Disastrous Lakers Debut

Published 10/20/2021, 7:36 AM EDT
Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (left) with guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers have now lost their fourth straight opening game of the season. Despite the star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis combining for 67 points, the Warriors won 121-114 at the Staples Center. However, the talking point of the night was Russell Westbrook, who had a disappointing regular-season debut with the Lakers.

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The ‘Triple Double King‘ had a poor outing for the Lakers, scoring just 8 points in the 35 mins he played. In fact, the star of the night was his point guard counterpart, Stephen Curry. He logged the eighth triple-double of his career against the Lakers with 19 points, 1o assists, and 10 rebounds.

October 14, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the basketball against Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James, who scored 34 points, has said that Westbrook just ‘needs to be himself’. James also doesn’t want Westbrook to be so hard on himself after a dismal outing against the Warriors.

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LeBron James opens up on what went wrong for Russell Westbrook

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James appeared for the post-match interview and was asked about Westbrook. To this LeBron said that it was just his first game, and he “needs to be himself.”

“I just think it was first-game jitters,” LeBron said.

“I don’t put too much into it. There was probably a lot going through his mind, being a kid from L.A. … I’m not worried about Russ at all. He just needs to be himself.”

Everyone expects the star trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook to dominate the games this season. However, it’s a new team that has recently gone through a massive roster overhaul. Westbrook will need some time to adapt to the playing style.

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Thus, LeBron was also asked to give a piece of advice to Westbrook, to which he replied: “Tell Russ to go home and watch a comedy…. I just don’t want him to be so hard on himself.”

Westbrook finished the game with just eight points, five rebounds, four turnovers, and four assists. He appeared passive around the action happening on the court and even failed to draw fouls while attacking. Anthony Davis, who got off to an impressive start after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign, has also advised Westbrook to be himself.

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Los Angeles Lakers now face Phoenix Suns at home this Friday and will be looking to register their first win of the regular season.

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Abhishek Singh

245 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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