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Russell Westbrook to play vs. Warriors in opener

All three of the Lakers All-Stars will play vs. the Warriors.

Russell Westbrook holding the basketball and posting up Steph Curry Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are about to host the Los Angeles Lakers on the first night of the 2022-23 NBA season, and we now know that the Lakers will have all their stars. Shortly before the game, the Lakers confirmed that point guard Russell Westbrook, who had been listed as probable, will play in the game.

Westbrook was a pretty big question mark after injuring his hamstring during the Lakers final preseason game of the year. But the injury was apparently quite minor, and he’s good to go. Fellow future Hall of Famers LeBron James and Anthony Davis were also listed as probable on the injury report, but no one thought there was any chance that they’d actually miss the game.

It will be interesting to see Westbrook’s role. His first season with the Lakers last year was pretty awkward, as the fit between the former MVP and fellow stars James and Davis was clunky, and tensions ran high. Last week, new Lakers coach Darvin Ham suggested that Westbrook would move into a bench role to start the year, which is a fascinating development for a player who hasn’t exactly been known for sacrificing playing time, shots, or importance. That said, Westbrook is starting in the opener.

With Westbrook playing, there are officially five million All-Star appearances taking part in the game. The Lakers have a combined 35 All-Star appearances (18 for James, nine for Westbrook, and eight for Davis), while the Warriors have 18 (eight for Steph Curry, five for Klay Thompson, four for Draymond Green, and one for Andrew Wiggins ... Andre Iguodala, with his one All-Star appearance, isn’t suiting up).

Neither team is at full strength, as the Lakers are missing some key role players, and the Warriors are missing Iguodala while Thompson and Green and not expected to play full minutes. But it’s good that all the stars will be there.

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