Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Thunder not worried about Lakers

Westbrook said: “Our job is not to worry about them. Our job is to worry about our team that we have here and the things that we can do to continue to improve.”
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 10, 2013

There once was a time when the Los Angeles Lakers were the popular pick to supplant the Thunder as the Western Conference champion.

Yes, that was in October. It just feels like an eon ago.

As the two teams meet for the second time Friday inside Staples Center, the Thunder remains atop the Western Conference standings while the new look Lakers come in limping.

Even after acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard over the offseason, the Lakers are just 15-20, losers of five straight. Once lauded as a surefire championship team, the Lakers are now struggling to make the playoffs.

The Thunder, however, refuse to pour fuel on top of the fire. Russell Westbrook, for example, said there isn't any extra motivation to further embarrass the Lakers after they garnered much of the offseason headlines for assembling a super team.

“Our job is not to worry about them,” Westbrook said. “Our job is to worry about our team that we have here and the things that we can do to continue to improve.”

Westbrook went on to say Friday's game should be competitive.

“It'll be a good game,” Westbrook said. “They're coming off a loss and we beat them the first time so they're definitely going to be ready to play the next time.”

NICK COLLISON WEIGHS IN ON PROSPECTS OF BASKETBALL IN SEATTLE

Thunder forward Nick Collison, who was drafted 12th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2003, expressed mixed feelings in response to news that the Sacramento Kings could be on the verge of relocating to Seattle.

“It's not a done deal yet,” Collison said. “Those things are very complicated. So I'll wait and see like everybody else. If it happens, I'll be happy for Seattle fans and feel for Sacramento fans, because I've seen first-hand how hard it is for fans to lose a team. If we go there, it'll be fun for me to see some old friends. But it definitely probably would be a weird feeling.”


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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