At an introductory press conference earlier this month, the new Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony was asked when he actually accepted the idea of ​​coming off the bench and promising to contribute to the role. He told reporters that he didn’t start 3 of 69 games for the Trail Blazers until last season. For future Hall of Fame members, this is not an easy change, but he accepted the new challenge, averaging 13.4 points per game, and hitting a career-high 40.9% from three-pointers.

“You have been away for 16 or 17 years, and you are the one in the team. You are the star,” Anthony says“Then, all of a sudden, someone will say,’Listen, come off the bench.’ I have to swallow that ego. I have to swallow that pride. But I also have to use this ego and that kind of pride. Let me maintain my advantage and stay motivated. I accepted this. It played well in Portland. That was the first time I did this and experienced it at that level.”

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Anthony has come a long way since his infamous Media Day appearance with the Thunder in 2017, when he joked and answered a question about becoming a substitute, “who I am?” From the franchised players in Denver and New York, to the second choice of Oklahoma City and Houston, to the complete withdrawal from the league, his footprints span the entire NBA.

“The self is checked. My self has been checked because I understand that all this is to have an opinion on your situation,” Anthony said. “Again, most things in this alliance, many things, are not within our control. We have to control what we can control, and I have learned this over the years.”

Russell Westbrook is another offseason player of the Lakers and a former teammate of Anthony. He has a little understanding of control. He is a method, style, Parking spaces and pre-match sandwichesHowever, in order for Los Angeles to reach its full potential, Westbrook must learn from Anthony and give some control of the field to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The energetic duo hope to be at Staples Center. Hang another championship flag.

In his own introductory press conference, when asked about fighting alongside James and Davis, Westbrook ignored any doubts.

“I am their teammate, my job is to play and promote them, they will do the same thing to me, and vice versa. As the season stretches, we will figure it out,” Westbrook says“There will be ups and downs. It’s normal. It doesn’t matter. We will figure out how to play the best way we want to be able to win the championship.”

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There is no denying that Westbrook is brilliant, hardworking, and he really cares. This should not be dismissed. The problem is that at this point in his career, Westbrook hasn’t “figured it out” at all.

As the rookie of the Thunder in 2008-09, Westbrook Ranked third in the team’s shooting attemptsIn his career, he ranked first or second every other season, sometimes even more often than the number of shots made by superstar teammates such as Kevin Durant and James Harden.Westbrook never thinks twice, even though he is The most inaccurate high-volume three-point shooter in NBA history.

Although he will be a key offensive creator for the Lakers, Westbrook must realize that when he has a dynamic scorer like James and Davis on the court, controversial jump shots are a waste. This means learning to arm his speed and athleticism through decisive moves after catching the ball, cutting into the basket, and pick-and-rolls. After Los Angeles lost the strong perimeter blocking of Alex Caruso and Kentavius ​​Caldwell-Pop, he sometimes had to take on challenging defensive tasks.

“as you know, [James] He is one of the best players to play this game. His ability to do anything on the court allows me to figure it out,” Westbrook said. “I am about to become a championship-level player team. My job is to ensure I was able to make his game easy for him. “

Again, “figure it out”-not as easy as it sounds. But Westbrook has a man in the dressing room who actually did the job. Anthony gave the spotlight to Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Fewer shots Gary Trent and Norman Powell Jr. than last season. Anthony is not always a team-oriented person- Ask George Carl ——But in the past few years, he has definitely shown a willingness to sacrifice.

He has not fallen to the bottom like Anthony, but Westbrook has not achieved sustained success.He became The first MVP to be traded for three consecutive offseasons This summer, since 2016, he has not passed the second round of the NBA playoffs. This is his last season with Durant. Durant has won multiple championships as a member of the Warriors.

There is reason to doubt. Maybe Westbrook can’t make major changes. However, this is a new stage and environment for him. As Anthony said, age and experience can bring better understanding.

“I think we are all ready to take on whatever role we all need or need to take in order to achieve the ultimate goal,” Anthony said. “At this point, we all know what it is.”

Anthony learned with difficulty that in order to avoid undesirable results, the solution is to look inward and change himself. Can Westbrook do it?

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