Stephen A. Smith throws dig at Lakers outcasts Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley demanding NBA championship rings despite not being on roster

Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley, who were former teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season, have not forgotten where they played the majority of the season. They both expressed their desire to receive a championship ring if the Lakers win the NBA Finals, with Beverley saying that they will be “suited and booted” and ready to receive their rings.

However, Stephen A. Smith, a commentator on ESPN’s First Take show, was discontent with the idea of both Beverley and Westbrook receiving rings. He argued that the Lakers were better without them than with them, citing the team’s rise from the 13th seed to the seventh seed in the playoffs after they were traded.

Smith’s opinion is not without merit, as the Lakers have indeed performed better since the trade deadline. However, there are no rules in the NBA that dictate whether past members of a team should receive championship rings. It is entirely up to the discretion of the organization.

One example is Anderson Varejao, who played for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 season. Both teams made the NBA Finals that season, and Varejao received a ring from whichever team won.

Beverley played in 45 games and started in all of them for the Lakers this season. He averaged 6.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in nearly 27 minutes of playtime per contest. Westbrook, on the other hand, played in 52 games for the Lakers and started in three of them. He averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game in 29 minutes of playtime per contest.

Both Beverley and Westbrook were traded and subsequently bought out by the teams that acquired them at the trade deadline. Beverley was traded to the Orlando Magic, earned a buyout, and signed with the Chicago Bulls. Westbrook was traded to the Utah Jazz, bought out, and signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

In conclusion, while Smith may believe that the Lakers are better off without Beverley and Westbrook, it remains to be seen whether the organization will award them championship rings if the team wins the NBA Finals. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the Lakers, and we will have to wait and see what their decision will be.

J.R. Smith Stands by Russell Westbrook Amidst His Turbulent Time with the Lakers

J.R. Smith, a former NBA guard, recently defended Russell Westbrook in an interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports. Smith sympathized with what Westbrook went through during his time with the Lakers, understanding the passion he has for the game and the feeling of being let down by those closest to him.

As an LA native himself, Westbrook’s experience with his hometown team and city hit home for Smith. He was happy to see Westbrook find success with the Clippers, revitalizing his career while staying in Los Angeles.

Smith’s 16 seasons in the NBA included stints with the Hornets, Nuggets, Knicks, Cavaliers, and Lakers, where he played alongside LeBron James on two different teams. Having experienced the additional pressure and criticism that comes with playing with James, Smith understands the dynamics of the situation.

While he did not reference this directly in his comments about Westbrook, it’s a factor that likely played a role in the difficulties Westbrook faced with the Lakers.

Overall, Smith’s support of Westbrook shows the camaraderie and empathy that exists among players in the NBA. It’s always heartening to see players uplift one another, even in the face of difficult circumstances.


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