Russell Westbrook is once again part of a big three. Almost 10 years after his first big three with Kevin Durant and James Harden made a trip to the NBA Finals, Westbrook has joined the Los Angeles Lakers. Westbrook will now team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the three superstars go on the hunt for an NBA championship. Westbrook spent last season with the Washington Wizards, where he led the league in assists and triple-doubles. Westbrook's arrival has pushed the Lakers back into favorite status in the championship picture, as they have a big three that can rival that of the Brooklyn Nets.
For Westbrook, this is his chance to dispel the idea that he can't be a star player on a championship team. After numerous exits in the playoffs, there have been questions surrounding Westbrook's effectiveness as a star teammate. Playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis will allow Westbrook to not be the primary offensive player, and will therefore let him play with less defensive coverage. There aren't enough words to describe what a championship would do for Russell Westbrook's legacy. After winning an MVP title and being a perennial All-Star, a championship would round off Westbrook's resume before he eventually calls time on his career.
But that's now how Westbrook sees his upcoming stint with the Lakers. Westbrook was presented as a Los Angeles Lakers player during a press conference yesterday. During the press conference, Westbrook was asked whether he feels he has anything to prove with the Lakers. Westbrook responded by saying he doesn't feel like he has to prove people wrong anymore. His arrival to the NBA, and his finding success in basketball after his difficult upbringing was him proving people wrong. So he has no motivation to prove people wrong anymore.
"Uh, no. ... When I got drafted in the NBA, that was me proving people wrong. ... Go to college, from the inner city, that was me proving people wrong. Just making it out the hood was proving people wrong."
Clearly, Westbrook is not concerned about fighting the doubters and the critics anymore. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a personal legacy motivation to win a championship. Westbrook clearly values his legacy and would love to add a championship to his long list of accomplishments. How Westbrook combines with James, Davis, and the rest of the Lakers still remains to be seen.