Lakers’ Russell Westbrook States How Kobe Bryant Will Influence His Upcoming Stint With the Lakers in 2021-22

Published 09/29/2021, 11:00 AM EDT


Oklahoma City Thunder legend Russell Westbrook is all set to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the LA Lakers in 2021-22. The guard will add to the experience and star quality of the setup after his stint with the Washington Wizards ended. In order to perform to the best of his abilities, Westbrook will need to draw inspiration from wherever possible. One primary source is former Laker legend, Kobe Bryant.

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At the time of the NBA Draft 2021, nobody anticipated things to unfold the way they did. In a shock move, the Washington Wizards decided to offload Westbrook to the Lakers in a huge trade. In exchange, the side received Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and the No.22 pick. However, LA would receive Washington’s 2024 and 2028 second round picks.

In 2020-21, Westbrook averaged a triple-double in the league. It was the 4th time in his career that the starlet has amassed over a triple-double on average. The 9-time All-star will add to Frank Vogel’s squad depth, and will occupy the floor along with star duo of James and Davis. With the trio’s experience and winning mentality, the yellow brigade are favorites for the title yet again.

WATCH THIS STORY: Kobe Bryant’s Best Lakers Teammates Featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol

Westbrook wants to compete for Kobe Bryant

As a Laker, every player looks up to the legacy of the legendary Kobe Bryant. The former player created his own legacy with the side and scripted history multiple times. He instilled a never-say-die attitude and was a key feature of a generation of Lakers that dominated the NBA. In a recent interview, new Laker Westbrook spoke about feeling inspired by Kobe.

(Denver, Colorado – Friday, May 29, 2009) Lakers guard Kobe Bryant yells out in frustration after just missing a circus shot against the Nuggets defense late in the first half in game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The 32-year-old laid out that what representing the Lakers means to him, and how Kobe plays a huge part in his mental game. Westbrook acknowledged that Kobe will be looking down from above, and continued, “I’m gonna make sure I do my part and go out and play for him [Kobe] and through him as I compete in this uniform.” He knows very well not to take the opportunity for granted, and will give it his all.

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Can Russell Westbrook channel his inner beast in the 2021-22 season? If he does so, another title is surely returning to Los Angeles in the next 12 months. The Lakers kick off the new season against the Warriors, on October 19th.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

320 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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