Lakers' Russell Westbrook Says His Job Is to Make LeBron James' Life Easier on Court

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) in action during the first half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Russell Westbrook understands his new role playing alongside LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"My job is to make his game easier for him," Westbrook said of LeBron at his introductory press conference Tuesday.


"Bron is one of the best players to play this game... my job is to make his game easy for him."<a href="https://twitter.com/russwest44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@russwest44</a> on sharing the ball with <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kingjames</a> next season. <a href="https://t.co/43tTkWlr9Z">pic.twitter.com/43tTkWlr9Z</a>

James and Anthony Davis won the 2019 NBA title, and the Lakers will have high expectations heading into 2021-22 based on the offseason additions. 

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Russell Westbrook: “I’m coming to a championship caliber team.” <a href="https://t.co/skxrzrAOkV">pic.twitter.com/skxrzrAOkV</a>

"The roster is great," Westbrook added. "A bunch of guys I've known. I'm always looking at the roster and seeing how I can make other guys better."

Westbrook can obviously play a big part of the team's success as a nine-time All-Star and one-time MVP who has averaged a triple-double in four of the last five seasons.

The major question is how well he would fit on the roster playing alongside two other elite players who should get plenty of touches.

The 32-year-old ranked 15th in the NBA with a 30.2 usage percentage last season, which was actually his lowest mark in 11 years. He consistently controls the action despite playing alongside stars like Bradley Beal, James Harden and Kevin Durant.

James is also used to running the offense for the Lakers, and that could create question marks if Westbrook is taking the ball out of his hands.

It doesn't appear to be an issue at the moment, however, with the point guard saying he will support his new teammate.

For all of Westbrook's individual accomplishments, his teams have only combined to win one playoff series in the last five years—and he only played three of the seven games in the lone first-round victory in 2020.