Wizards GM: Russell Westbrook never asked to move on

The Wizards’ decision to trade Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason may have been in the best interest of the star point guard, but Washington GM Tommy Sheppard attests that Westbrook was “professional” and never demanded a trade from the team. “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.”
Source: Matt Weyrich @ NBC Sports

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
On @FOXLA tonight talking about Lakers Media Day and why I think Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are checking their egos at the door this season. pic.twitter.com/DLYzxchKDc10:45 PM
Dave McMenamin @mcten
A couple weeks after he was traded to the Lakers, Russell Westbrook got together for a joint workout with LeBron James at a high school gym in Beverly Hills. The triple-double guru’s initial thoughts? “This is going to work,” Westbrook told ESPN es.pn/3oeaoH510:32 PM
Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
Most career games among active players:
1. LeBron James, LAL, 1310
2. Andre Iguodala, GSW, 1192
3. Carmelo Anthony, LAL, 1191
4. Dwight Howard, LAL, 1182
5. Trevor Ariza, LAL, 1094
(Russ Westbrook is 13th, DeAndre Jordan is 14th and Rajon Rondo is 16th): basketballnews.com/stories/lebron…9:10 PM
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Five questions for the Lakers as they being training camp today:
— How does Russell Westbrook fit in?
— Which version of AD (2019-20 or 2020-21) will LA have?
— Which backcourt players step up defensively?
— What’s the 10-man rotation?
And more: theathletic.com/2853640/2021/0…6:18 PM
Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
New Mismatch with @Chris Vernon on Zion’s secret foot surgery and future, vaccines ruling media day, all the latest on Ben Simmons, MPJ’s max extension, John Wall weirdness, how the Lakers recruited Russell Westbrook, and much more. @ringer open.spotify.com/episode/4mzkfa…4:47 PM
Bob Garcia @bgarciaivsports
LeBron James just gave Russell Westbrook the dose of confidence he needed before playing his first year with the #Lakers
#LakersMediaDay #LakeShow #NBA #NBATwitter #LakerNation
sportscasting.com/lebron-james-j…4:06 PM
Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
For the sickos who like to watch, Tuesday’s @LockedOnLakers pod, YouTube version. Among the topics discussed, new details about the Westbrook trade (via @The Athletic) that should make Laker fans very happy. @LockedOnNBAPods @LockedOnNetwork
youtu.be/zqpYA43M-bM?t=…4:00 PM
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Dwight said he’s really looking forward to playing with Westbrook, whose energy he thinks will rub off on everybody else. “All of us are intense … he’s another level.”
Westbrook also benefits the big men, said Dwight, as bigs “eat” off his dribble penetration and passing. – 3:04 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Dwight Howard on Russell Westbrook: “I’m looking forward to playing with Russ.” Called it a “dream come true.” – 3:03 PM
Melissa Rohlin @melissarohlin
Rajon Rondo on the competitive nature between him and Russell Westbrook: “I know he’s looking to destroy me. Likewise, I’m looking to destroy him.” – 2:35 PM
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Westbrook said he doesn’t take for granted the opportunity to have a job, to be able to come to the Lakers facility every day and work, especially in his home town. Genuine excitement. – 2:24 PM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Russell Westbrook on the team’s minicamp in Vegas pic.twitter.com/Onn41eH51r2:23 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Russell Westbrook on LeBron James welcoming him with open arms pic.twitter.com/alorfQmrgP2:21 PM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Russell Westbrook on calling Trevor Ariza: “That’s my dawg!” – 2:21 PM
Melissa Rohlin @melissarohlin
Russell Westbrook on his excitement about playing for the Lakers pic.twitter.com/y7KGMDkNi02:20 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Russell Westbrook said that no one can guard Anthony Davis at the 4 or the 5, but AD playing at the 5 is “a real advantage” for the Lakers due to the spacing it provides for driving lanes and the pick-and-roll/pop. – 2:20 PM
Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
Russell Westbrook said the Lakers could be “deadly” this season with Anthony Davis playing center. – 2:18 PM
Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
Russell Westbrook: “There’s always been conversations about me coming home and to be able to sit here and in this Lakers uniform is a blessing.” pic.twitter.com/KDl4LjXL0z2:18 PM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Russell Westbrook: “There’s always been conversations about me coming home. Every summer [laughs].” Calls it a “blessing” to be back home and play for the Lakers. – 2:17 PM
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Westbrook said that he and LeBron, since the trade, have developed a real mutual understanding of each other’s work ethic, preparation and desire to win: “We both understand and know what it takes to be able to win, but ‘Bron understands what it takes to get to that next level.” – 2:17 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Russell Westbrook on LeBron’s comments about him: “My job is to uplift LeBron, AD…” – 2:14 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Russell Westbrook is up next… – 2:13 PM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Wayne Ellington predicted the Lakers will experience “shooter’s paradise” with how much LeBron, AD & Westbrook will attract attention and how well they set up teammates – 1:53 PM
StatMuse @statmuse
The Lakers jersey numbers:
0 — Westbrook
1 — Ariza
2 — Ellington
3 — AD
4 — Rondo
5 — THT
6 — LeBron
7 — Melo
9 — Baze
10 — DeAndre
11 — Monk
12 — Nunn
39 — Dwight
This HAS to be the lowest jersey number combination for a team in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/mnhCCgt3l01:40 PM

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
Trevor Ariza said Russell Westbrook called him after he got traded to the Lakers and said he wanted to talk to him. Ariza said, “What the fuck do you want to talk to me about?” 😂 – 1:27 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Trevor Ariza once again says Russell Westbrook was “on my phone” right after the blockbuster trade. Said it was probably Westbrook that helped him come back to LA. – 1:27 PM
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
In terms of fit with Westbrook, LeBron said it may not be “peanut butter and jelly” from the jump on the court in terms of who does what, but LeBron feels he always figures it out. Regardless of former teammates (Wade, Kyrie, AD, etc.), he eventually gets to the right balance. – 1:26 PM
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron on his connectivity with Russell Westbrook: “We’ve been tied at the hip pretty much since we made the acquisition.” – 1:14 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron on Russell Westbrook: “Just his passion alone. … Very passionate about putting in the work.” – 1:14 PM
Brad Turner @BA_Turner
“As far as Russ, we need Russ to be Russ,” LeBron James on Russell Westbrook. – 1:14 PM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron on Russell Westbrook: “We need Russ to be Russ.” – 1:13 PM
Bill Oram @billoram
A new season is here. Get up to date on all things Lakers, including the covert pursuit of Russell Westbrook (and other stars) as well as the willingness to play center that Anthony Davis just discussed.
50% media day discount through the link:
theathletic.com/2848702/2021/0…1:10 PM

More on this storyline

Fred Katz: Here is what the final version of the five-team trade looks like, according to sources: Seven players Rights to three more Draft picks Draft swaps 18 total trade pieces pic.twitter.com/6Uoy74XMcr -via Twitter @FredKatz / August 5, 2021
Bobby Marks: Here is what the 5 teamer looks like To WASH Kuzma KCP Harrell Dinwiddie A. Holiday Rights to I. Todd (#31) To LAL Westbook To BKN 2024 2nd 2025 2nd (right to swap with GSW or WAS) $11.5M Trade Exception To IND Rights to I. Jackson (#22) To SAS C. Hutchison 2022 2nd (WAS) -via Twitter @BobbyMarks42 / August 4, 2021
Bobby Marks: Because there is no salary incoming, Brooklyn does not have to match salary. The Dinwiddie money was added to Kuzma, KCP, Harrell, Holiday to match the Westbrook contract. $49.7M to WASH $44.1M to LAL That falls within 125% -via Twitter @BobbyMarks42 / August 4, 2021

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