Lakers legend Magic Johnson gives his flowers to Russell Westbrook as the Lakers defeat Stephen Curry and co at the Crypto.com Arena.
In what it seems, Russell Westbrook was all ears during Magic Johnson’s candid interview with ESPN ahead of the Lakers-Warriors matchup. Magic was critical of the purple and gold going into Saturday night’s game against Stephen Curry and co.
The five-time champion didn’t hesitate to call out Westbrook for underperforming this season. Magic believes Brodie has a moral responsibility towards the city of LA, playing for an iconic franchise like the Lakers. Magic was nothing but frank while addressing the former OKC superstar’s recent struggles on the hardwood.
Magic Johnson did not hold back on the state of the Lakers this season:
“[Russell Westbrook] quit battling the press, take ownership and accountability. … I’m tired of excuses, it’s time to take ownership and say ‘I just been playing poorly’.” pic.twitter.com/PHJHpZ7HN7
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 6, 2022
The Hall of Famer hasn’t lost hope yet, saying the Lakers have a chance in the play-in tournament. However, he would shock co-panelists Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, and Jalen Rose by saying the following statement.
“This (Westbrook) trade could down as the worst trade in Lakers history if we don’t get out of the play-in game.”
Fortunately, the Lakers would end their four-game losing streak against the Warriors, with superstar LeBron James having a monster 56-point double-double. However, Westbrook played a significant role in the win as well.
Magic Johnson applauds Russell Westbrook’s performance against the Warriors on Twitter.
It’s been a rough ride for Mr. Triple-Double this season, enduring endless criticisms and trolling in light of his underperformance. Westbrook continues to get mocked for his poor shooting and recurring turnovers. However, the two-time scoring champion was safe today, as he notched a noteworthy performance.
Brodie had 20-points and was 9-for-17 from the field against the Warriors. It looks like Westbrook did listen to Magic’s word closely. Nonetheless, the former Lakers point guard didn’t think twice before giving Westbrook the respect he deserved.
I am so proud of Russell Westbrook! He was a big reason why the @Lakers beat the Warriors, scoring 20 points tonight. That’s how the Lakers need him to play night in and night out! He played hard, was aggressive, and made good decisions on the court.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 6, 2022
Magic’s feedback was constructive and didn’t come across as personal, unlike other analysts and pundits. The three-time Finals MVP played his entire career in LA. Post his playing career, Magic worked as a coach, followed by President of Lakers basketball operations.
Though not on paper anymore, he continues to be associated with the franchise.
Hopefully, the team can turn things around from here, with a healthy Anthony Davis back and Westbrook getting accustomed to his new role.