Mark Jackson passionately shoots down the idea that the Lakers have a Big 4 on their roster

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former NBA head coach and current ESPN analyst Mark Jackson offered a blunt assessment of the Los Angeles Lakers’ core.

Jackson dismissed the idea that the Lakers have a “Big 4” after the addition of guard Patrick Beverley this offseason to the team’s trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

It’s hard to fault Jackson for his assessment. Even though Beverley is a solid player, he has never been a star during his time in the NBA. In his 10-year NBA career, Beverley has made three All-Defensive teams, but he has not made an All-Star or All-NBA team.

Despite being a pest on the defensive end of the floor, Beverley has been much more of a role player on the offensive end. For his career, he has averaged 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

Meanwhile, Davis, Westbrook and James are all multiple-time All-Stars, and Westbrook and James are both former MVPs.

There is no doubt that Beverley can contribute and make the Lakers a better team in the 2022-23 season, but Jackson may be right to not consider him a piece that gives the Lakers a “Big 4.”

Last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Beverley averaged 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.

When comparing Beverley’s numbers to those of the three stars on the Lakers, one can tell why Jackson believes this. If one just looks at Westbrook, who had one of the worst seasons of his NBA career in the 2021-22 campaign, it’s easy to tell why he’s on a different playing field than Beverley.

Last season, Westbrook still averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc. Any of those per-game averages from Westbrook last season would be career-bests for Beverley.

The Lakers are hoping that Beverley’s defensive tenacity will help them get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason in the 2021-22 season. If James, Davis and Westbrook stay healthy, it could be a big bounce-back season for Los Angeles.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.