Skip to main content

"You wanted Russ, you got Russ" - Shanon Sharpe's message to LeBron and AD


8 points (4-13), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and the worst +/- of the game with -23; Russell Westbrook had a rough start to his career as a Laker. What's even more concerning is that all the predictions of why Westbrook will be a very awkward fit were obvious from jump ball.

"I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy. Do something that can put a smile on his face. He's so hard on himself. I told him, 'Don't be so hard on yourself. It's one game.'"

LeBron James, postgame conference

Anthony Davis joined LeBron in sending the "it's just one game" message to Russ after the game, but the fact remains that Westbrook has the Ben Simmons problem - he's only good when the entire team concept is built around his strengths, and more so his weaknesses. Just like Simmons, Westbrook can't shoot. So every time the ball is not in his hands on offense, Russ is a liability.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

What Lakers fans (and coaching staff) are hoping is that, unlike his previous stints, Westbrook won't just stand around and try a new concept in basketball - off-ball movement. In addition to his limitations offensively, Westbrook has one apparent downside compared to Simmons; he's a below-average defender at best. The irony is that many people think Westbrook's biggest flaw could be fixed with a little bit of Simmons in his game - more reluctance to take a shot, particularly the big, late-game shots Westbrook has no problem taking despite his horrible numbers.

Is there a world this can work? Sure it can. One thing no one can take away from Westbrook is the energy and effort he brings on a nightly basis. This was probably the no.1 thing on the "pros" side of the board when the Lakers considered trading for him. If you want to spare LeBron in the regular season and need someone else to drag the team to home-court advantage, Brodie is your guy. But you can get a guy like that for a lot less than $44 million. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is "yes" - Westbrook is the highest-paid player on the Lakers.

As with any team led by LeBron James, failure and success will be measured in the playoffs, and that's where Westbrook's flaws shine and strengths become limited. You want the ball in LeBron's hands for every second he is on the floor and complementary players around him. This is where the opportunity cost for the Lakers will make the decision to go with Westbrook over the Buddy Hield package look even worse. Shannon Sharpe made it clear who's going to be responsible once that happens.

"Lebron not gonna be able to walk this one out because they had a deal in place to go get Buddy Hield and he and AD wanted Russ. This is what you wanted. Rob Pelinka gave you Russ, they ran this by you. You wanted Russ, you got Russ. I said it from day 1 - Buddy Hield is a better fit for LeBron James and Anthony Davis because he can space the floor."

Shannon Sharpe, Undisputed

As much as he disputes it, we all know LeGM had to approve a trade like this. James has often opted for trading young players for more experienced ones, and it backfired more often than not in the past. In the end, I think this trade will go in the loss column when all is said and done, mainly because we know the Lakers could've gotten Buddy Hield for less and decided not to.

Ron Harper

"I want the SOB out of here" — How the NBA's drug problem got Ron Harper traded out of Cleveland

Lenny Wilkens believes that if the Cleveland Cavaliers had kept Ron Harper, then they would've ousted Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls

Bronny James

“He’s gonna be a whole different beast” - Gilbert Arenas praises Bronny James Jr. after a request to scout him by Lebron James

Arenas recalls when LeBron told him to scout his son Bronny and give him an honest opinion on whether he has any potential to be a legitimate basketball player

LeBron James & John Salley

John Salley praises LeBron James for calling out the media’s coverage of the Jerry Jones picture - “Everybody wanting to call LeBron a sellout; no, you can’t”

Salley believes that James can no longer be labeled a sellout after he stepped up and voiced his concerns on an issue that not many people are paying attention to

Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic

Kristaps Porzingis opens up about his failed partnership with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks - “I just wasn’t the right guy”

When asked about his failed stint with the Mavs, Porzingis admitted that he and Luka Doncic were not a strong fit on the court together

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.