Lakers Media Day Reaction: Westbrook Not Guaranteed Starting Role, LeBron Focuses on Availability

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By Locked On Podcast Network and Brian Kamenetzky. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

There were, literally, dozens of questions asked and answered on Media Day for the Lakers Monday, but not surprisingly, it was the questions asked to, and asked about, guard Russell Westbrook that dominated the headlines. First, Darvin Ham made it abundantly clear that no starting role will be promised, or even assumed, for Westbrook. They have a lot of time to figure out what they're going to do, and a lot of guards to figure out how to do it with. Westbrook, Ham indicated, is just one of those options. It was a message delivered with praise, for sure (Ham continued talking about how great Westbrook has been this offseason) but delivered, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Westbrook echoed many of the comments published over the weekend by ESPN. Does he feel wanted by the org? "Doesn't matter." His job, Westbrook said, is to go be a pro and play hard, filling whatever role he's asked. And you know what? That's the right answer. He can pretend that Lakers want him, but Westbrook knows it's not true. Rob Pelinka noted in strong terms the Lakers are willing to trade multiple picks to get better, and would certainly flip Westbrook (without mentioning him explicitly) if the right deal comes along.

Westbrook definitely seems to have a better relationship with Ham than he did Frank Vogel, which will definitely help, and having a rest for the year helps, too. LeBron and Anthony Davis seemed to indicate Westbrook's offense that he wasn't really allowed to be himself wasn't fair, but also that they took time to talk about last year and figure out how this season can be better. So there's potential for a fresh start.

Davis, for his part, has a lot to prove, as does LeBron. For both, there's the question of health, something around which LeBron seems willing to make some concessions in order to stay on the floor. Davis, meanwhile, not only has to stay available, but elevate his play.

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: What Darvin Ham had to say about Russ.

SEGMENT 2: What Russ had to say about this season and last.

SEGMENT 3: LeBron focused on availability. What does that mean for the Lakers and for Ham?

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