Russell Westbrook and his new Los Angeles Lakers teammates met with the media on Tuesday for the first time. While the aging squad had a rosy love-fest, repeatedly discussing sacrificing for the greater good, another story about Westbrook emerged from his former general manager. Apparently, Russ really didn't want to go to the Clippers.
Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard discussed the Westbrook trade with NBC Sports Washington and wanted to clear some things up. The first is that Russ never actually demanded a trade, he just said if a deal with the Lakers was possible, he wouldn't object. After all, he is a Los Angeles native who played college ball at UCLA and grew up rooting for the Lakers.
Here's what Sheppard told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller:
“I really have to make sure the record is straight on that. 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.’"
But Westbrook didn't just want to get back to Los Angeles, he specifically wanted to play for the Lakers. When Sheppard suggested a potential deal with the Clippers, Russ was emphatic.
"I said, ‘What about the Clippers?’ He said, ‘Hell no.’"
As someone who grew up in Southern California I can tell you that I will never see the Clippers as anything but the joke of the franchise they have been for the majority of their existence. No matter how well they play, which superstars they add, or how far they get in the postseason, the Clippers will always just be ... the Clippers.
It's fairly obvious Westbrook feels the same way.