LOS ANGELES — LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook failed their first actual check collectively, a 121-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors on opening night time, however they discovered some widespread floor.
All three of them have now misplaced of their Lakers debuts: James towards the Portland Path Blazers in 2018, Davis towards the LA Clippers in 2019 and Westbrook towards the Warriors on Tuesday.
Whereas James (34 factors, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) and Davis (33 factors, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) outperformed Westbrook, who had a team-worst plus/minus of minus-23 in 35 minutes and completed with eight factors on 4-for-13 taking pictures and 4 turnovers, their larger affect may need come within the postgame locker room, lifting up their new teammate.
“I informed Russ to go house and watch a comedy,” James stated. “Do one thing that may put a smile on his face. He is so laborious on himself. I informed him, ‘Do not be so laborious on your self. It is one recreation.'”
It was just like a pep speak James gave to Davis when their first recreation collectively in Los Angeles additionally did not go their means.
“My first time, I sat subsequent to LB, he checked out me, and he stated, ‘You are nice, that is Recreation 1,'” Davis recalled. “He is laughing. He is joking on the cellphone. And I am like, ‘Why am I upset then?’ And I sort of simply went with the circulation. And it is the identical factor with Russ. And I informed him the identical factor. ‘I am the identical means you have been.’ We stated some issues to him, and he smiled and issues like that, so I count on him to be higher within the recreation Friday.”
If Westbrook broke out a smile within the locker room, it was gone by the point he reached the media room for his postgame interviews.
“We talked” was all Westbrook would say in regards to the dialog with Davis and James.
His total media session lasted lower than three minutes as he stored his solutions as temporary as potential.
James, who has usually stated that have is the best instructor, was hopeful that Westbrook would glean some perspective from the ordeal.
“I simply don’t need him to be so laborious on himself,” James stated. “That was the one factor that I hoped to get via to him, do not be so laborious on himself. Go house and you are going to see three infants that he has that may be asleep, however they will put a smile on his face. He has a gorgeous spouse and household. So on the finish of the day, you go house and also you’re actually like, ‘OK, that was not that unhealthy. It is actually not that unhealthy.'”
Lakers coach Frank Vogel acknowledged the tough spot Westbrook finds himself in.
“Him greater than anyone, it should be an adjustment interval,” Vogel stated. “He is coming into our tradition, our system. He is the brand new man, and he is received to search out his means. It is tough, if you’re used to being the man who has the ball most nights, to have the ability to play off of others like Bron and AD. So it is just a bit bit completely different for him. He will be nice for us, however it should be an adjustment interval.”
Whereas Westbrook appears to be like to develop inside the group, James is urging him to be the participant he was earlier than he got here to Los Angeles — an uber-confident nine-time All-Star, Olympian and former league MVP.
“It is difficult to enter a brand new system and attempting to slot in but additionally convey what you convey to the desk at a excessive degree to suit out as nicely,” James stated. “And if there’s three guys on this workforce that should not be anxious about not becoming in, it is most likely myself, AD and Russ. Clearly we will do no matter it takes to assist the workforce win, however for us three, we have to match out as nicely.”
Each James and Davis put the blame on “first-game jitters” for Westbrook, with Davis regarding Westbrook taking part in on an even bigger stage than he has been used to — “Once you come right here, the lights are brighter,” Davis stated — and James figuring out what it is like to return house to play.
“There most likely was only a lot going via his thoughts, being a child from L.A. and watching the Lakers rising up after which nevertheless a few years down the street and now you are placing on a Laker uniform and also you’re moving into Staples Middle,” James stated.
Westbrook, nonetheless stewing on the result whereas chatting with reporters, took possession of the duty forward for him and his workforce as they attempt to come collectively to comprehend their championship objective.
“I simply received to determine it out,” he stated. “That is all.”