Stephen Curry defends Russell Westbrook while discussing his intangible skill that’s a ‘lost art these days’

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

In his one-and-a-half seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, guard Russell Westbrook drew the ire of their fans because of his frantic play, propensity to commit turnovers and terrible outside shooting.

However, no one can deny his heart and competitive spirit, and that is something Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry reminded fans and observers of.

Westbrook joined the Lakers in the summer of 2021 after they sent the Washington Wizards Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round draft pick to acquire him.

It was a lot to give up for a former MVP who was clearly past his prime, yet LeBron James met with him just prior to the trade and was reportedly convinced that he would be the missing piece to the championship puzzle.

Instead, the Lakers finished just 33-49 and missed the play-in tournament. Yes, injuries to James and Anthony Davis were a factor, but so was very poor roster construction, which was a repercussion of the Westbrook deal.

With no cap space or tradable assets left over, Los Angeles was forced to fill out the rest of its roster with a slew of older players who were past their expiration dates. Many of those players haven’t played a single game in the NBA this season.

When Westbrook was traded in February for D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, it was as if a huge weight was lifted off the franchise’s shoulders.

The Leuzinger High School alum is now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, and while he is still a good player, his multiple flaws remain, and he is such a mixed bag as far as his strengths and weaknesses that no one really knows what to expect from him in any given game.

Meanwhile, Russell has mostly played very well for the Lakers, as has Vanderbilt, who has emerged as a defensive standout and a very good rebounder, not to mention someone who also has some impressive open-court offensive skills.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.