Lakers' Russell Westbrook Says He's 'OK with Adversity' After 0-2 Start to Season

Doric SamOctober 24, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook was expected to help lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to title contention after being acquired in the offseason.

But at 0-2, the Lakers and Westbrook are off to a slow start to the season. Westbrook, however, isn't concerned with the early season tribulations.

"I'm OK with adversity, honestly," Westbrook said Saturday. "I never panic throughout the course of a season. Especially at the start of the season. There's really no need to. The season is too long and nobody is winning nothing right now."

Through two games, Westbrook is averaging just 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from the floor. Westbrook averaged a triple-double in four of the last five seasons and hasn't averaged under 20 points since his second year in the league.

Westbrook acknowledged that the Lakers' slow start is not ideal, but he knows there's time to improve over a lengthy season.

"Yes, it's good to get off to a good start and feel good about yourself," he said. "But especially me personally, I like to make sure that I'mβ€”as the season goes onβ€”I'm constantly just getting better and better and better as the season prolongs. And making sure that my team and my teammates are getting better as well as we all get comfortable with each other."

Westbrook is one of many offseason acquisitions for Los Angeles, which is chasing its second NBA championship in three years. The veteran-laden roster is sure to experience some growing pains as the players learn how to play with one another.

"Guys are figuring out how to run with me, and play a little faster. I'm figuring out how to do other things and moving off the ball," Westbrook said. "I'm OK with the struggle of figuring it out and making sure we are putting ourselves in the position to do the right things so that ultimately at the end of the year we can be playing our best basketball."

The Lakers will go for their first win of the year when they return to action Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center.     


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