Darvin Ham considers Russell Westbrook a significant part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster for the 2022/23 season.
This is what the new head coach of the franchise told media during his official presentation. Ham said he has already talked with Westbrook about his role in the team and said the key will be to ‘sacrifice’.
"Russ and I have had some really, really great 1-on-1 convos man. The biggest word that came out of those discussions were sacrifice. That was the biggest word… and it's not just Russ"
— Darvin Ham on his conversations with Russell Westbrookpic.twitter.com/lwVjKH3ijq
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 6, 2022
“Russ is one of the best players our league has ever seen and there is still a ton left in that tank. I don’t know why people tend to try to write him off.
We talked in our conversations and the biggest word we used was ‘sacrifice’. I want him to go back to being a pitbull on the defensive end, and everything else is gonna flow from there.
I want him to set a tone defensively for our team. Just get back to guarding, guarding, guarding. I want him to get back to guarding at a championship level,” Darvin Ham said, via Malika Andrews of ESPN.
Russell Westbrook has already been involved in several trade scenarios, however it seems he will remain with the Lakers for at least another year. The All-Star guard is entering the final year of his contract and is set to earn $47M next season.
Last year, Russell Westbrook failed to lead Los Angeles to the playoffs and averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham on Russell Westbrook’s role next season: “The biggest word we used was sacrifice.”
"I want him to get back to guarding at a championship level." From NBA Today: pic.twitter.com/HPu69MzXaM
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 6, 2022