Preseason has not treated Russell Westbrook nicely, so is there something LeBron James might be able to do to.
Much like the Los Angeles Lakers, we here feed are also working out the rotation kinks as we embark on the 2021-2022 season. As such, this week, “The Hook” got moved from Friday to Wednesday. We still tried to bring the Friday vibes though.
With basically every show starting off with some update on the Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers or Kyrie Irving-science stalemates, we switched things up and discussed the Lakers game Aaron attended last night.
Seeing as it was the first game fans saw LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis on the court at the same time, the vibe in Staples Center was electric and, during some stretches, the trio rewarded fans with some legitimately exhilarating basketball. During others, well, keep those aforementioned kinks in mind.
While James and Davis looked much like their typical selves, Westbrook is still clearly catching up on just in a purely basketball sense, but also seemingly on a deeper, almost identity level. Learning how to pick and choose spots to put the pedal to the medal as he normally does vs. set things up for teammates as ball-dominant as James and Davis is going to take time.
Aaron also asked whether I’m concerned about what I’ve seen from the Lakers and you’re just going to have to listen to find out.
From there, we segue to the latest on Irving and Simmons and especially focus on how maddening Irving’s messaging has been. It’s also been fascinating to watch Brooklyn and Philadelphia draw a line in the sand even with their superstars, so I asked Aaron whether he thinks this might be an indication of the player empowerment’s momentum possibly faltering.
Finally, we wrap on Aaron’s favorite story of an athlete getting sent home by a team. You’re going to want to listen to that.