Iman Shumpert Expresses How the Lakers Bringing In Russell Westbrook Was Not ‘A Right Decision at All’

Published 12/21/2021, 11:00 PM EST


When the Los Angeles Lakers made the blockbuster offseason move to trade for Russell Westbrook, most fans were thrilled to see a trio like LeBron James, Westbrook, and Anthony Davis come together. Of course, there were some doubts about their chemistry then as well, but the thrill of having this ‘Big Three’ overpowered all hesitation.

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Unfortunately for the Lakers, their worst nightmare after acquiring Westbrook came true this season. Their inconsistency and average record, despite having the easiest schedule so far, speaks for itself. Like most people, this former NBA player also thinks that bringing in Westbrook was a bad decision on their part.

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In the interview, Iman Shumpert, who has quite a relationship with LeBron James, was asked about why he thinks the Lakers are having a poor run. He started off, “I haven’t been around the team to know exactly what it is, right? But to me, they don’t get down together. I don’t feel like they’re hanging out. “

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Shumpert revealed that when he was playing with James in the Cleveland Cavaliers, the latter always stressed on teammates hanging together. He thinks that’s something that’s missing. However, another reason for their collapse also popped up.

Lakers bringing in Russell Westbrook was a mistake?

Once the 2021-22 NBA season began, Russell Westbrook has not lived up to his expectations. From taking the lead when James and Davis aren’t there, to putting up triple-doubles almost every night – all the reasons for which he was a tempting candidate have not been fulfilled so far.

Sure, he has improved a little and found some rhythm with the team. However, he still needs to pick up his pace and be the former MVP we all know. Otherwise, the Lakers might find themselves struggling to even secure a playoff berth.

However, the damage is done and fans are requesting Westbrook’s trade already.

Dec 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) is fouled by Chicago Bulls forward Alfonzo McKinnie (28) during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

So, what does Shumpert think about the purple and gold’s decision to bring him in? “I don’t think that was a right decision at all,” he clearly responded.

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While he agreed that keeping Buddy Hield and Alex Caruso would have been more beneficial, Shumpert also thinks James is not going to be able to carry the team now, after so many years in the league.

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Most of James’ fans would disagree. The Lakers superstar still puts up performances like he is in his prime and just in 2020, he led the franchise to their 17th NBA championship. So, if there is anybody who can make it happen for the Lakers, it’s LeBron James. What they do need to do is put the right pieces next to him to play with.

 

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Yashima Bhatia

1803 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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