The Los Angeles Lakers have made some serious moves in the off-season. Adding a great deal of star power, they have strengthened the look of their roster. Notably, the addition of Russell Westbrook has made them a serious threat. The combination of Westbrook-LeBron James and Anthony Davis could run through the league.
However, there may be one personal record that may be broken. Lakers’ LeBron James is arguably the most complete basketball player. He is also one of the greatest passers in the league right now. Likewise, he has led his team in assists throughout his entire career.
The USA’s LeBron James receives his gold medal during the ceremony at the Men’s Basketball Final between USA and Spain at the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic games. London, UK. 12th August 2012. (Photo: Steve Christo) (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)
Now, could that streak be broken?
Can Westbrook break the streak?
Until now, LeBron James took the role of facilitator for the Lakers. However, with the addition of Westbrook, he will most likely be the one who keeps the offense going. Looking at this, the ‘King’ could see his streak break this season.
Russell Westbrook recently took the crown of ‘Mr. Triple-Double’ as he surpassed Oscar Robertson. He has averaged 18+ triple-doubles in 4 of his last five seasons so far. Moreover, he has a natural ability to find his teammates and make plays for them.
Russell is probably one of the most unselfish guys in the league. He has sacrificed his personal gains for his team in order to win. The ‘Brodie’ has made a reputation as one of the best playmaking point guards in the league. Along with that, he has shown that he is no less efficient in putting the ball in the hoop.
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
So, this season could be the year we see Westbrook take charge and lead the Lakers in assists. In his 18 year career, this may be the first time that LeBron James won’t claim that feat. However, with both wanting to win, do you think they can co-exist in one system?
Can LeBron James and Russell Westbrook co-exist?
Both James and Russell are ball-dominant players. It means that they are the primary players with the ball in their hand for most of the game. They dominate the game of basketball playing this way. Can having two such players work?
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns fans sitting courtside wear face masks due to COVID-19 restrictions as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The answer is uncertain as both LeBron James and Westbrook have been the primary playmakers throughout their careers. Naturally, they will command to have the ball at all times. Hence, it may be difficult for them to work together.
However, as both of them are great players who know how to play with other stars, the crucial element will be sacrifice. While Westbrook will have to sacrifice the volume of shots that he takes, LeBron will have to sacrifice the amount of time he has the ball in his hand.
May 8, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts as hitting the game winning free throw during an overtime period against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports
With both players understanding that winning is the priority, these superstars are more than capable of making these sacrifices. Hence, they can surely co-exist, provided they agree to sacrifice parts of their game for the better of the team.
Do you think LeBron James and Russell Westbrook can figure it out? Let us know in the comments below.