After missing the playoffs last season, LeBron James and the LA Lakers are looking to get back into contention next season. With training camp just around the corner, the All-Star forward held a meeting with select individuals to prepare for the year.
Among those attending the meeting were James; his agent, Rich Paul; new coach Darvin Ham; and general manager Rob Pelinka. Since the four gathered, reports have emerged about what was discussed.
Yahoo Sports reporter Chris Haynes reported some of the main points from the meeting. He reported that the four talked about the team being more cohesive, guys being more selfless, players taking on new roles and the offense needing to run through Anthony Davis.
FS1's Colin Cowherd said all the information revealed was a direct shot at Russell Westbrook.
"All four of those seem like wake-up calls for Westbrook," Cowherd said. "This is a great example of getting something out so Russell Westbrook and his agent see it. And this what you're gonna get in camp. ... Those four, five boxes were all very much aimed at Westbrook."
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Can LeBron James get Russell Westbrook to change for the Lakers?
Cowherd could be correct in thinking this leak was a public service announcement for Russell Westbrook. LeBron James wants to get back to competing for titles, and to do so, he will need to get the 2016-17 MVP on board with what they're trying to do.
James has proven to be a strong leader at times, and now will be his biggest test. He's worked with star players before, but never in this fashion.
When James joined the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade willingly took a backseat for the betterment of the team. Now, he must try to get Westbrook to do the same. The only issue is that Westbrook has shown no willingness to change in any of his stops since leaving the OKC Thunder.
Aside from behind the scenes, James will also be fighting an uphill battle on the court with Westbrook. Since he is a ball-dominant guard with a below-average outside shot, there are few ways for him to be effective away from the play. Outside of being a screener in the pick and roll and cutting off ball, Westbrook is limited in his ability to be impactful on offense.
This is a crucial year for James as the future Hall of Famer enters the final year of his contract. It will be on him to right the ship for the Lakers.
Also Checkout:- Russell Westbrook Stats