Russell Westbrook Has Two Chances For A Ring In 2023

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Russell Westbrook didn’t move far when he changed teams during the middle of the season.

Making the jump from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Los Angeles Clippers was an easy switch for Westbrook. The two teams play in the same building, yes. But at the time, the Lakers were floundering while the Clippers were holding strong to their spot in the Western Conference.

Russell Westbrook Could Win A Ring With The Lakers

The Clippers are still there, entering the postseason as the 5th seed and with one of the more talented rosters in the conference. Westbrook has proven to be a solid addition, putting to rest the notion that he would be bad for the team’s chemistry and immediate future.

But the Lakers have surged since ridding themselves of Russell Westbrook. It may be his departure, or perhaps the arrival of newcomers at the trade deadline, and probably a little bit of both. But the Lakers went 17-7 over their final 24 games of the regular season to claw their way up to the 7th seed.

So while the Clippers may have been the better team in the regular season and the ones with the higher ranking in the standings, the Lakers have better odds of both advancing and of winning the NBA Championship.

As for Westbrook personally, he’ll receive the first championship ring of his career if either team is able to pull off the feat.

Having been a member of the Lakers for such a large portion of the season, he is eligible to receive the team’s hardware and honors should they win it all. But, according to NBA rules, either party can decline.

Westbrook, Or The Lakers, Could Decline

This happened before, back in 2016 when Anderson Varejao was traded to the Golden State Warriors from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the middle of the season. When the Cavs defeated the Warriors in dramatic fashion in the NBA Finals, they offered to give him a championship ring, to which he declined.

It remains to be seen what Russell Westbrook would do in that situation. Adding a championship to his resume would certainly help his legacy, given that that is one of the biggest knocks against his career, but would he want to earn it that way?

He has been known to be outspoken, demonstrative, and direct with his feelings, and it wouldn’t be surprising to have his pride show by turning down the offer from the Lakers.

Both teams will start their first round series on Sunday. The Lakers will take on the Grizzlies in the early game of the day, followed by Westbrook and his current team going up against Durant and the Suns.

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