Newly hired Lakers head coach Darvin Ham still believes Russell Westbrook can rebound in L.A.. He claims Westbrook needs some time in his system before everyone writes off the former MVP. Ham either believes what he's saying and he's delusional, or he's putting on a smokescreen to make it seem like the Lakers aren't desperate to deal Russ as everyone made them out to be.
What's Ham's system? A David Blaine magic trick? There's no saving Russell Westbrook at this stage of his career.
Darvin Ham is surely a respectable coach in the league, but in what system did Westbrook flourish alongside another star? And not statistically speaking because numbers are irrelevant for players looking to win -- we mean an ability to compliment a player better than himself.
Russ played in Oklahoma City for years in his prime and couldn't master getting out of Kevin Durant's way in crunch time. He also wet the bed in Houston alongside MVP James Harden, and now he's clogging lanes for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. A bad fit the way former Lakers head coach Frank Vogel used the trio, yet it's unclear what could have been done differently? James and Davis have performed well surrounded by shooters and that's about it. It wouldn't make much basketball sense to assume Westbrook is about to do something he hasn't done in 15 years of basketball: find a way to compliment players that need surrounding shooters. A skillset he's never possessed.
It's clear, especially as far down the road as we are, that Russell Westbrook will struggle in 2022 if Lakers GM Rob Pelinka fails to trade him. Having your head coach pretend they can make this work is a joke. Stop it right now.