After the game, when LeBron James showed signs of frustration over Westbrook’s choice, he was asked about his thoughts on going for a two-for-one possession in such a situation. He claimed, however, that the media was baiting him into criticizing a teammate. On Sunday, with the Lakers holding a one-point lead over the Trail Blazers and 30 seconds remaining in the game, Russell Westbrook took an uncontested midrange jump shot in an effort to give his team an additional possession.
As a result of his miss, Los Angeles fell to 0-3 to start the season while Damian Lillard of Portland hit the game-winning three-pointer. It seems like this interview is trying to get me to say something, James remarked. Clearly, you all fall into the “Russell Westbrook” demographic. James acknowledged the Blazers’ effort and stated he detested defeat in any form, but it was evident he perceived an invitation to criticize Westbrook.
“You guys can publish about Russ and all the stuff you people want to try to discuss about Russ,” James went on to say. Yet I have no intention of doing so at this juncture. It’s not something I’m willing to do. I can’t stress that enough. No, that’s not me… This is not who I am. James scored 31 points, grabbed eight boards, and dished out eight assists, while Westbrook scored 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting in a 106-104 loss.