It was clear to everyone that Russell Westbrook won’t be ending the season with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, few would have expected him to end up with their cross-town rivals.
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Westbrook after being waived by the Utah Jazz after the All-Star break. He’s expected to take John Wall’s spot in the rotation as the former Washington Wizard was shipped back to the Houston Rockets.
After finalizing a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz, nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, his agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/OjZ0Mkuz5x
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 20, 2023
OKBET fans who keep up with NBA news may think that adding a point guard who relies solely on his athleticism is a step backward for the team. However, the future Hall Of Famer is a net positive to a Clippers team that badly needs help on the perimeter.
The Brodie has played as the leader of the Lakers’ second unit, averaging 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists a night. His 30% shooting from deep is still a significant problem for the Clippers, but his availability makes him an upgrade over the often-injured Wall.
Westbrook joins a stacked team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who he played with at Oklahoma City. Whether he helps LA’s less popular squad make it through an already-stacked Western Conference.
Why Did Westbrook Join the Clippers, Anyway?
Westbrook fans and NBA followers with a sharp memory will remember the man himself laughing off the possibility of playing with the Clippers. He told Washington Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard that the Clippers were the last team he wanted to join.
So what changed between 2021 and today?
One of the most apparent reasons for his change of heart is the abuse he and his family got throughout his one-and-a-half stint with his hometown team. The fact that his wife got death threats for his on-court performance likely soured his relationship with Lakers fans.
The other obvious reason behind this move is the possibility of winning another championship. The Clippers aren’t the loudest names in the Western Conference, but Leonard and George kept the team competitive. They constantly find themselves in the playoff picture in spite of injuries and load management for their stars.
Westbrook believes he can still contribute to a contender; his stats prove this to be true. The Clippers have a gap at point guard that he can fill up.
Finally, he doesn’t want to leave his hometown. While his Lakers stint was disappointing, he can still win at home with the Clippers.
For a person who likes basketball as much as Brodie, that’s all he could wish for at this point in his career.