Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal made a bold statement about Lakers newcomer Russell Westbrook, claiming that he sees the nine-time All-Star as a “role player.”
“They still need role players, right?” O’Neal said. “I see Russ as a role player, a damned good one, but he’s a role player. It’s LeBron [James] first, AD (Anthony Davis) second and then Russ. He can get his stuff on the break.”
There’s no doubt that Westbrook has a big adjustment period ahead of him. The veteran is used to taking on a massive role with high usage. However, given the number of superstars that the Lakers have, he’s not going to be able to play that part with L.A.
Westbrook had an ugly debut with L.A. in the team’s season opener on Tuesday. He was held to just eight points on 4-for-13 shooting. While he dished out four assists, he also coughed up four turnovers.
The 32-year-old seemed frustrated after the game, and he’s surely going to do everything in his power to turn things around.
Westbrook and the Lakers are off to an 0-1 start this season. They’ll look to get their first victory of the campaign later this week against the Phoenix Suns.