One of Russell Westbrook‘s priorities with the Lakers will be to help unleash Anthony Davis, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. After their first practice together on Tuesday, Westbrook called Davis “the ultimate weapon” because of his unique skills for a big man.
“He’s one of a kind,” Westbrook said. “There’s nobody like him who can do everything he’s able to do at his size. And my job is to make sure I continue to push him each day, each practice, each game, so he can be at the top of his game each and every night.”
Davis said he welcomes having someone who will drive him to be his best. He has been an All-Star the past eight years, but he’s coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him post career-low numbers with 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting career-worst percentages from the field and the free-throw line.
“I like teammates who are going to push me,” Davis said. “Encouragement — I don’t need encouragement. I want to be pushed. I want guys to tell me when I’m messing up. Me and Russ had numerous conversations in this first practice alone about things we can do together as a duo when we’re both on the floor.”
There’s more on the Lakers:
- Coach Frank Vogel was impressed by how fast Westbrook still is at age 32, per Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Vogel called his new point guard “a blur out there” and said he plans to take advantage of it with an up-tempo approach. “When the ball’s outleted to (LeBron James), Russ has gotta fly; when the ball’s outleted to Russ, Bron’s gonna fly,” Vogel said. “And that’s the best way to complement those guys.”
- James was instrumental in assembling the Lakers’ new roster, and Vogel believes he will adjust his game to make it successful, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. L.A. concentrated on veteran talent during the offseason, putting together a roster that’s very accomplished but is also the oldest in the league. “All these other stars that he’s played with, he’s adapted his game, done whatever’s necessary to win and put himself in position for the ultimate goal,” Vogel said. “The willingness to do it is one thing, but when you have his skill set and his mind, he literally can do it all. So I’m very confident that that’s going to work itself out.”
- The Lakers plan to be fully vaccinated by the start of the season, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “It was never a team discussion,” James said at media day, “but I think at the end of the day you’re figuring out ways to always be available and protect one another.”