The Los Angeles Lakers were an unmitigated disaster in 2021-22. Part of the reason was the offseason acquisition of Russell Westbrook, and what a poor fit he was with the team.
Ever since it became apparent that Westbrook was a square peg being shoved into a round hole, one question has consistently lingered: who brought him to L.A.?
Who deserves the blame?
DeMar DeRozan’s tales of how close he came to becoming a Laker, only to have the rug pulled out from under him in shady fashion, haven’t helped.
This week a report emerged that shined a light on where James truly stood in regards to Westbrook vs DeRozan.
“Now you know the story was DeMar DeRozan could have been a Laker…” Cari Champion reported recently.
“I remember specifically, he meeting with LeBron, he was saying Rob wasn’t trying to give him the years, he wanted the years, LeBron wanted him, and he was still under the impression that he was going to be a Laker until they signed Russell Westbrook… I ran into LeBron at an event, and he goes, ‘Well, I was trying to get DeMar…”
Make of that what you will.
This is going to be a big season for James and the Lakers. Westbrook clearly isn’t going anywhere, despite 4 teams being willing to accept him at a steep cost.
So that’s how Kliff Kingsbury is preparing for next season. https://t.co/5tDWsCpKmn
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 29, 2022
That means the best L.A. can hope for is that he just plays better in 2022-23. That and that they can secure 1 of the 3 player targets they have for this summer.
Can the Lakers come back next year and restore some semblance of respectability to a once proud franchise?
Time will tell.