It’s not guaranteed that Russell Westbrook will return to the Lakers next season, but if he does, the team’s new head coach Darvin Ham has a plan on how to use him on the court. After a disappointing first year in Los Angeles there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the former NBA MVP.
According to Ham, Russ will have to make a sacrifice and diversify the he plays offensively. He sees Westbrook in multiple different roles where he could contribute to the team. But most importantly, the 33-year-old point guard has to have a defensive mindset.
“I think the style of play we’re going to have all of those guys, not only just Russ, but LeBron, AD, they’re going to be able to share the load,” Ham said on Dan Patrick Show.
“”One thing I mentioned to Russ is the way I’m built, the success I’ve seen, especially most recently here in the last nine years, in the last 4 years being coach Bud in Milwaukee, also in Atlanta, but in Milwaukee, one thing we always preach and we’ll continue to preach to be our foundation of our teams is a defensive mindset, being able to defend at a high level.
“I challenged him and he accepted the challenge. That’s a part of the worst sacrifice we use. And being able to move him around in different spaces on the floor as we go back on the offensive end.
“Sometimes he’s gonna be off the ball slashing, sometimes he’s gonna play in a dunker, sometimes he’s gonna be initiating things. He may post up a little bit, he may be the screener in pick and rolls.
“So, being able to diversify his plan of attack where he’s not just rushing the ball up the court facing three defenders every time and having to put this, like I said during the press conference, having you could run to the telephone booth and put their capes on.
“Everybody needs to be involved with what we’re doing on both sides of the ball. I think it’ll make it easier, lighten the load and also allow us to get stronger as the season gets longer.”