The Los Angeles Lakers underwent a major overhaul over the past few weeks. Out are Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma, in are Russell Westbrook and Trevor Ariza.
This past week, Ariza spoke to the media. Among the topics covered: the one player who was instrumental in getting him to re-join the Lakers.
“It’s funny because Russ got traded, and 20 minutes after he was traded he was on my phone,” Ariza said (via Silver Screen and Roll). “So I don’t know if he was telling me he was happy to be home, or he wanted to go to dinner or whatever, I just know that he called my phone like ‘yo, what are you doing? Where are you at? I need to talk to you, I need to see you.’”
At the end of the day, the bond between Westbrook and Ariza was instrumental in getting the latter one back to LA.
“We kept in constant communication, and then it just so happened that I’m here,” Ariza added.
Unlike with Westbrook, in the case of Ariza and the Lakers nobody is accusing LA of tampering.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 10, 2021
The Lakers made a lot of changes over the past week. So many, in fact, that Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets had to come out and comment on whether he was scared of LA now. Ariza is a key component of that.
Will he and the rest of LA’s new additions be able to guide the team back into the NBA Finals? Time will tell.