The Lakers will be an old team this season. It’s a fact that has been at the forefront of most of the discussions about their offseason, whether positively or negatively. While the Lakers were able to nab players under market value or impactful role players on minimum contracts, it was often due to those players being veterans willing to chase a ring later in their careers.
That’s not all bad. There are benefits to the Lakers signing a host of older veterans, like a willingness to sacrifice, something multiple Lakers have espoused. It’s also a team that will have experienced seemingly every possible situation they’ll face in the upcoming season and, in theory, should be able to find solutions as a result.
But it has still been used as a negative talking point by many heading into the year, so much so that Russell Westbrook was asked about it on his recent appearance of the “Straight from the Hart” podcast by Kevin Hart.
Fittingly, Westbrook answered the question as only he could (h/t LakersOutsiders).
“Listen, we’ve got a team full of nice experienced vets that’s going to kick these young motherf------ asses. That’s what we going to do.”
Players like Westbrook and LeBron James look for any sort of a dig at the team as motivation, as evidenced by the latter’s twice-deleted tweets about the team’s age following the Lakers' initial free agency signings.
The Lakers’ age wasn’t the only topic Westbrook discussed on the podcast as he also spoke about returning back home to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers:
“You grow up here in L.A. a Laker fan and then you kind of dream of one day playing for the Lakers and now that s--- here. I don’t think it really hit me yet. I think it’s going to hit me when the season starts. I’ve been just kind of going through the motions, but it’s crazy. Family here, everybody here, but I’m excited about it. The city’s hyped. I can’t wait... I’m excited to get this s--- going.”
Westbrook also spoke about the pressure that will come along with being a part of a new Big Three that will immediately have expectations of winning a title.
“When it comes to pressure, honestly, it’s kind of how you take it. Myself, LeBron, AD, we’ve been in a position where pressure is nothing. We’ve been there before. That’s kind of how I take it. Ain’t too much pressure. We’ll go out and hoop and, s---, we’ll figure it out.”
Players the stature of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will inherently have pressure on them to perform at a certain level, and especially so when they team up. But even if they’ll be joined by... experienced... teammates, the Lakers fully intend on kicking asses and winning a title this season.