Russell Westbrook Lays Out Washington Wizards’ Top Priorities Ahead of New Season

Published 12/20/2020, 5:50 AM EST
Dec 19, 2020; Washington, DC, USA; Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards brings the ball up the floor in the first half against the Detroit Pistons during a preseason game at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports


Russell Westbrook is now the newest member of the Washington Wizards. The former 2017 MVP went to the Wizards in a trade that took John Wall to Houston.

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Westbrook only spent one season on the Rockets’ roster but is now looking to start a new chapter with the Washington Wizards.

Russell Westbrook spoke to the press after the Wizards’ preseason game. Westbrook revealed that he was excited to start his new chapter with the Washington Wizards and wanted to quickly build chemistry with his teammates.

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He acknowledged that many of his teammates had different paths to the NBA, and he wanted to get to know all of them.

For Westbrook, he is a big believer in having team chemistry. However, he has had circumstances in the past where he fell out with various teammates.

Most NBA fans remember the circumstances under which Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. Rumors emerged that Durant was unhappy with how much control Russell Westbrook would have of the ball.

Westbrook is certainly a talented player but is nonetheless a polarizing character and teammate. Even before he left OKC, he had a falling out with then-center Steven Adams. Those unresolved issues persist to this day, as was seen during their confrontation in the NBA Bubble.

Russell Westbrook – chemistry concerns

Even in the Rockets, while Westbrook and James Harden had a strong friendship, they did not gel well together as teammates. This is because both are very ball-dominant players. So sharing the ball between the two was an issue.

This was one of the reasons that prompted Westbrook to demand a trade from the Rockets. While he still maintains a very good relationship with him, his dynamic with teammates in the past raises questions about his fit in Washington.

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Westbrook will be paired up with Wizards’ All-Star Bradley Beal. This is a partnership that many believe can work because Beal, unlike his former teammates, is not nearly as ball-dominant.

Dec 19, 2020; Washington, DC, USA; Bradley Beal #3 and Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards celebrate after Beal scored and was fouled in the first half of a preseason game against the Detroit Pistons at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Therefore, the two may not clash over what plays to run on the court. Additionally, we have seen from Westbrook’s triple-double season that he can create opportunities for his teammates.

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It remains to be seen how Westbrook and Beal get along in Washington. But if the two can mesh together well, then the Wizards will be a team to look out for in the Eastern Conference.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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