It didn’t take too long for Russell Westbrook to make himself right at home as a new member of the Washington Wizards.
Westbrook, who was traded from the Houston Rockets for John Wall and a first-round pick on Dec. 3, was getting himself settled in (if you will) as part of the team. Westbrook spent just one season with Houston after being traded to the team from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Little did new Wizards teammate Bradley Beal know how much stuff Westbrook was bringing with him, especially into the locker room.
It took Beal’s breath away when he saw it all. Check out his response.
In just his one season in Houston, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points per game, shooting 47.2 percent, during his lone season with the Rockets. He also averaged 7.9 rebounds and seven assists. Westbrook had requested a trade from the team.
The Rockets are also dealing with venerable All-Star James Harden, who wants out as well. Harden’s list of potential places to go include Miami, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, among others.
Wizards Hope Russell Westbrook Changes Their Luck
Meanwhile, the Wizards, who open up NBA preseason play on Dec. 13 against the Brooklyn Nets, are hoping that Russell Westbrook helps change their luck.
One thing which makes the team’s fans and players filled with anticipation is the reunion between Westbrook and Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks. Brooks coached the 6-foot-3 guard when he also was at Oklahoma City, leading the team to the NBA playoffs.
The Wizards finished with a 25-47 record last season, putting them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Their season, along with other NBA teams, was interrupted in March due to COVID-19 and they didn’t get back to finishing up until July and August.
The team didn’t make the postseason, which is something Brooks hopes changes with Westbrook as part of the equation.
Washington starts its 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 23 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Team Looks More Out Of Their Core Players
Beal is part of a core group of players already on the Wizards. Last season, the team finished seventh in points per game with 114.4, 12th in assists per game with 25, and 28th in rebounds per game with 42.
For his part, Beal played in 57 games, averaged 36 minutes playing time, 30.5 points per game, and a 45.5 shooting percentage. Davis Bertans, Ish Smith, Thomas Bryant, and Troy Brown Jr. are other players that Brooks will be surrounding Westbrook with while on the court.
Brooks might have had his troubling moments with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant while in Oklahoma City. In a recent interview, though, Brooks pointed out more of the positives between himself and Westbrook.
“I have a longstanding relationship with Russell and a lot of respect,” Brooks said. “His professionalism, his toughness, his intensity, his leadership, his drive, his determination… He’s going to provide a lot of things that we need.”
Brooks was effusive in his praise of Westbrook; who he is as a basketball player, a man, and how he will help the Wizards sharpen a new mindset and culture with a roster full of recent draft picks.
It’s this type of synergy that Brooks, Westbrook, and the Wizards look to bring to the court in this upcoming NBA season.