Russell Westbrook did not force a trade to Los Angeles, according to his former Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard, but he did make one thing clear: Lakers only, no Clippers.
Sheppard went on the record this week explaining that Westbrook expressed interest in joining his hometown Lakers if possible, but would happily return to the Wizards, too.
“I really have to make sure the record is straight on that,” Sheppard said. “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.”
Westbrook wanting to play for the purple and gold may hearken back to his youth growing up a Lakers fan, or it may be the result of some bad blood with the Clippers. Paul George famously ditched Westbrook to become a Clipper, and Kawhi Leonard bucked the opportunity to play with Westbrook in 2019, opting for the Clippers instead.
Regardless, Westbrook got his wish, and will join LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and a slew of other aging stars in Los Angeles this season at Staples Center.