Russell Westbrook has been heavily criticized since he made his way from Washington to Los Angeles during the offseason. The point guard hasn't quite meshed with the Purple and Gold, which has created some issues for the 2017 NBA MVP, with fans constantly saying bad comments about him.
Plenty of people have tried to help Russ and one of those is Shaquille O'Neal, who had a face-to-face convo with the playmaker last week. As two of Shaq's former teams clashed, the Big Diesel had the chance to talk with Brodie.
The 4x NBA champion was spotted talking with Russ, asking him to slow down, as he was playing too fast. The Lakers won that game against the Orlando Magic, but Shaq's exchange with Brodie made some noise even after the game was over.
During Tuesday's edition of TNT's Inside the NBA, O'Neal was asked about that interaction. He explained that he wasn't beefing or arguing with Westbrook, just giving some advice to improve his performance.
“People think we were having an argument or a beef. That’s not the case. I love Russ, I care about Russ, and when you’re not playing well, people take shots. I don’t like seeing people coming at my guy. I was watching him, analyzing him, I said, slow down. Slow your game down, pace yourself. You don’t have to go a million miles an hour.”
Westbrook's intensity has been one of the main reasons he's considered a great player and that intensity has taken him to this point. The veteran gives 110% in every play, showing his competitiveness during the entire match.
However, that same intensity could be the main issue for him this season. Perhaps slowing down would benefit him, as Shaq claimed. The Lakers lost the following game after beating the Magic, succumbing to the Miami Heat. They easily beat the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night and tomorrow will have another challenge in the Philadelphia 76ers.
This is the right time to show they can compete and aspire for the title. Otherwise, things will be very hard for the Purple and Gold.