Damian Lillard comes to Russell Westbrook’s defense, says the Lakers guard’s ‘career and legacy is undeniable’

David Akerman
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook is in the midst of what has arguably been the toughest season of his storied career.

Westbrook is currently averaging 18.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’s received criticism from many for his performances this season.

However, many around the league have come to his defense. Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard recently defended the former MVP, implying that the Lakers star doesn’t have anything to prove.

“Russell Westbrook’s career and legacy is undeniable,” Lillard said. “That’s just the bottom line. The player, the career he’s had, what he’s accomplished, the things that he’s done — nobody else has been able to do it. With all these triple-doubles, I don’t care if you stat chasing or whatever people wanna say. If I try to go every game and get a triple-double for a whole season, I can’t do it. And there’s a lot of other people that can’t do it either. That’s hard in itself to actually do it, whether you’re trying to do it or not.”

Lillard and Westbrook have faced off a total of 36 times throughout their professional careers. 31 of those matchups have come during the regular season. Lillard has won 20 of the 36 contests, and Westbrook has come out on top 16 times.

Westbrook surely appreciates hearing Lillard’s kind words.

In addition to Westbrook’s individual struggles, the Lakers haven’t done very well during the 2021-22 campaign. They are currently 10th in the Western Conference with a 31-43 record.

Given their recent slide and the San Antonio Spurs’ sudden hot stretch, the Lakers might end up missing out on a spot in the league’s play-in tournament. That would be a disaster.

Although it seems like Westbrook and the Lakers will try to part ways following the conclusion of the season, both parties are surely hoping that they can come together and finish off the campaign strong.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.