Did LeBron’s pursuit of Westbrook cost the Lakers DeRozan?

With james lebron help lead a Lakers rebuild the last offseason, by Russell Westbrook statistical dominance piqued the king’s interest.

In 2017, Westbrook became the first player to average a triple-double since Oscar Robertson, then quickly mocked the new stat by repeating the trick three times over the next four seasons.

Russ completed his move to the City of Angels in July at the request of James, a move that has aged less well than the Lakers roster this season. Westbrook fell flat with a terribly ineffective season, shooting just 44% from the field and 29.4% from 3 while committing 3.8 turnovers per game.

Speaking on ESPN’s “Get Up” Monday morning, Lakers legend and former team executive Magic Johnson blamed LeBron, saying that by pushing for Westbrook, the Lakers missed an opportunity to bring in freelance goaltender DeMar DeRozan. .

Instead of heading to his hometown of LA, DeRozan went to Chicago on a three-year deal. He was a star for the Bulls, averaging 28.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 50% from the field.

“The blame that he is [LeBron] has to take is the fact that DeRozan ended up in Chicago and not with the Lakers,” Johnson said. We could have made this deal. But when Russell and LeBron started talking, that’s when they called off that deal and went with Westbrook.”

Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discussed Johnson’s comments Tuesday on “Undisputed,” agreeing that Westbrook’s do-it-all, stat-padding approach was doomed with the NBA’s most revered franchise.

“Westbrook is fraudulent because he’s a stat machine that only cares about his personal stats,” Bayless said. “And he prioritizes personal stats over winning basketball games.”

Magic blames LeBron for passing Lakers to DeRozan

Magic blames LeBron for passing Lakers to DeRozan

Magic Johnson said LeBron James bears the blame for his role on the Lakers underperforming roster this season. Skip Bayless reacts to Magic’s comments criticizing James.

Westbrook has filled the stat sheet since entering the league in 2008, averaging 22.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 8.4 APG.

However, the point guard achieved this statistical volume with chronic inefficiency. With a career shooting clip of 43.8%, he only finished with an above-average field goal percentage three times, in 2011-12, 2015-16 and 2019-20, and never eclipsed the league average in effective field goal percentage. .

Additionally, the nine-time All-Star has been unable to replicate his previous NBA success, failing to advance beyond the first round of the NBA playoffs every season since 2015-16.

For the Laker Nation, a fan base with an unmatched history of exceptional basketball and championship expectations, Sharpe argues Russ’ approach will never work.

“Russ thought he could go home, play the way he played, lose and still be hugged because he’s his hometown kid,” Sharpe said. “It works in OKC (Oklahoma City), it works in Houston, it works in Washington. But it’s not going to fly here [Los Angeles] because they know good basketball.”

It has hardly been Russ Against the World throughout Westbrook’s career as he has shared the backcourt with some of the NBA’s elite players.

Kevin Durant and Westbrook missed the 2011 finals with Oklahoma City, James Harden and Westbrook lost in the conference finals after one season together, and Westbrook’s latest experience with LBJ looks destined to be a non-playoff disaster.

Both Harden and Durant left Westbrook in search of greener, trophy-laden pastures elsewhere, and Bayless argues LeBron recruited Russ to outshine those superstars.

“LeBron thought, ‘I had a chance to say look what I did with Russ,'” Sharpe said. “And about 20 games into the season, LeBron is like, ‘God, what did I get myself into? “

But with Magic Johnson aiming for the Journeyman superstar and Bayless and Sharpe somehow agreeing on Westbrook’s futility, it’s hard to take many positives from his time in Los Angeles.

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