Following a lackluster Los Angeles Lakers debut for Russell Westbrook, LeBron James had some advice.
Laugh it off with a funny flick.
“I told (Westbrook) to go home and watch a comedy,” James told reporters after the Lakers lost to the Golden State Warriors 121-114 to open the 2021-22 season. “Do something that can put a smile on his face.”
In 35 minutes, Westbrook managed eight points on 4-for-13 shooting (0-for-4 from three) with four turnovers and a game-worst plus/minus (minus-23).
“I just don’t want him to be so hard on himself,” said James, who scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. “That was the one thing that I hoped to get through to him, don’t be so hard on himself.”
Anthony Davis (33 points, 11 rebounds) said James gave him a similar message after losing in his Lakers debut in 2019; James had suffered a defeat in his first game a year earlier.
“He’s laughing. He’s joking on the phone. And I’m like, ‘Why am I upset then?'” Davis recalled. “And I kind of just went with the flow. And it’s the same thing with Russ. And I told him the same thing. ‘I’m the same way you were.’ We said some things to him, and he smiled and things like that, so I expect him to be better in the game Friday.”
As for Westbrook’s side of the conversation, the California native said:
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 21 points in a triple-double (10 rebounds, 10 assists) performance. The Lakers will host the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns on Friday.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James tells Russell Westbrook after Lakers debut to watch movie