By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
When he was twelve Russell Westbrook remembered watching the Lakers Championship parades. He like many other youth always wanted to play for his hometown team. Now he’ll get the chance. Last week he was acquired from the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell.
He has been the leader on previous teams which has been four in four years. This time he’s joining Anthony Davis and LeBron James as a group that will try to bring the 18th title to the City of Los Angeles.
“I’ve been blessed to go into my 14th season. I try to find way to uplift and make my teammates better around me,” Westbrook said at a press conference at Staples welcoming him and his family. “AD and Bron are friends of mine first and I’m coming in to help uplift the team the best way I can and they will do the same with me and vice versa.”
Wondering how they will maintain as a group, they all will have to modify their games some. “Sacrifice,” said head coach Frank Vogel. “We will be running a lot and have a dynamic fast break team.”
When asked about the age factor with so many players thirty-something Vogel stated, “Age equals experience.”
Westbrook will be the starting guard. He is better with the ball in his hands but he can distribute also. He has averaged a triple double the last four years. He leads the NBA with 194 career triple doubles and Lebron is second with 99.
He attended Leuzinger high and UCLA. He was a regular at the Boys and Girls Club where he says that helped shape his life as a youngster.
“I plan on being heavily involved in my community, when your job takes you away it’s harder to do more than you want.” said Westbrook.
“There are a lot more reason why he’s happy to be here. “I can spend more time my community, my wife and my kids.”