Trevor Ariza Revealed How Russell Westbrook Played a Huge Role in Bringing Him to the Lakers

Published 08/09/2021, 12:06 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have made such scary moves this offseason. But fans are wondering how this new roster will turn out on the court, despite how good it looks on paper. From creating another ‘Big Three’ that teams will have to look out for by bringing in Russell Westbrook to join forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they also added veteran experience players. Apart from Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza ended up agreeing to a one-year deal with the franchise. But it seems like Westbrook had a bigger part to play in his hiring.

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How Trevor Ariza was wooed by Westbrook

Trevor Ariza isn’t new to the ways of the Lakers. The shooting guard made some talented players that helped them capture the NBA championship back in the 2009 playoffs. But when the purple and gold picked Ron Artest over Ariza, they cut his stay short. After that, he made a name for himself with the Wizards and Rockets.

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And now, in his 18th season, Trevor is stepping back into the world of the Lakers, ready to help them turn around what was a humiliating season for them this year. But more than the organization, it was Russell Westbrook who worked on recruiting Ariza.

During his first Zoom Call with the media after he signed with the Lakers, Ariza revealed, “It’s funny because Russ got traded, and 20 minutes after he was traded, he was on my phone. So I don’t know if he was telling me he was happy to be home, or he wanted to go to dinner or whatever, I just know that he called my phone like ‘yo, what are you doing? Where are you at? I need to talk to you, I need to see you.”

With the league’s strict tampering rules, Trevor kept shut about the grave details about how Russell made it happen. But this is what the brief was.

May 24, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Heat forward Trevor Ariza (8) fouls Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) on his way to the basket in the third quarter during game two in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

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Russell Westbrook already doing wonders for the Lakers

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Westbrook has only been to the NBA finals once before. He won the Western Conference Finals with teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden, only to be defeated by his new teammate, LeBron James, and the Miami Heat.

Isn’t it strange that now Westbrook is out there recruiting for the crew that LeBron leads? Westbrook is yet to play a game with the team. So how this works out is still up in the air.

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It has been established that by recruiting important players like Ariza; he is doing much more than what’s expected of him. Now if he will be as good as this on the court, is something to wait and watch.

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 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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