Russell Westbrook hasn’t played a single second in a Lakers jersey, but boy, do I love him already.
Westbrook arrived in L.A. via trade between the Lakers and the Washington Wizards. Tommy Sheppard — the Wizards’ general manager — did an interview recently with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller (h/t Matt Weyrich of NBC Sports). In that interview, Sheppard wanted to set the record straight that Russ did not request a trade. Well, despite Sheppard’s statements, he sort of did. Either way, that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I’m here to talk about what Westbrook said when Sheppard presented the idea of still going to his hometown to play, but with the Clippers instead of the Lakers:
“I really have to make sure the record is straight on that,” Sheppard said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. “Russell actually never asked to move on. He just said, ‘If I can get to the Lakers, that’d be something I would love to do. If not, I’ll be back here.’ I said, ‘What about the Clippers?’ He said, ‘Hell no.’ So Russell was happy being here and we were very grateful for him being here.”
Oh, Clippers. You’re the punchline that keeps on giving.
I, personally, was very scared of the Los Angeles Clippers once they acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. I still am (once Kawhi Leonard is fully healthy). I really don’t want to kick them while they’re down here…but…I also do.
It all started with those infamous “Driven over Given” and “Streetlights over Spotlights” billboards that Steve Ballmer made sure to plaster all over Los Angeles. Forget the fact that those billboards were passive-aggressive shots at the Lakers, they’re also ironic when you consider the allegations levied against Jerry West and Kawhi Leonard as well as the injured Kawhi being too good to even sit with his teammates during a playoff series, opting for the sweet luxury of a suite. Then, of course, there was the hilarious 3-1 comeback from the Nuggets in the 2020 Western Conference Semi-Finals, a collapse from the Clippers that had the Lakers laughing all night in the bubble.
And now, even with their cool new stadium that Ballmer has been planning, and with being Team “Driven” over Team “Given”, one of the best Los Angeles basketball players of the past two decades thought “Hell no” about the thought of joining them. Even with arguably the best duo the Clippers have ever had in their franchise’s history, they can’t attract a third superstar to come onto the team. He even would have rather stayed on the terrible Wizards rather than playing in his hometown for the Clippers (before Clippers fans have a stroke online at me I should note that Zach Lowe of ESPN reported the Clippers were never interested in Westbrook).
It’s okay to be the little brother, Clippers. Embrace it. Hell, you could even come up with an anti-Lakers chant like the Suns and Celtics fans of the world. However, I guess you’re going to have to come up with something different than “Beat L.A.” Or you could consider actually moving your team to a different city that would welcome you with the full embrace of the city’s basketball fans. That would seem to be a better and more fun alternative than your owner Steve Ballmer making a media circus with live music that hasn’t been popular since 2011, trying to differentiate the Clippers from the Lakers while…non-stop talking about the Lakers at the media event.
Anyways, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make fun of the Clippers. They deserve it, though.
Back to our regularly scheduled Lakers programming.