Out of every NBA player that comes to mind, Russell Westbrook is the one player who can never gain or obtain anyone’s respect. Why? Because everyone values championships over everything else.
Stephen A’s comments the other night as Westbrook made history with his 30 point, 20 assist triple double was shocking and extremely uncalled for. Although there was some truth to his words, the overall message just isn’t it.
To break down and belittle a guy who shows up to work every day and gives his 100% effort regardless of the team he is on or what the plans for that franchise is; Westbrook lays it all out on the line. Instead of trying to discredit his achievements by stating “He can do this on any given night”, can we show some appreciation for how difficult it is to maintain this level of play throughout his whole career? How many guys can you think of who do the things that Westbrook can? Those players who come to mind have been retired for years.
On the contrary, the only thing Westbrook is knocked for is not winning an NBA championship. Stephen A, along with a lot of others, thinks that Westbrook should’ve already won given the talent he’s had on his teams. If people really want to go down that road I’ll break it down for everyone.
If we take a look at some of the “Super Teams” over the past few years, Westbrook hasn’t been a part of any of them. (Please do not count the Westbrook, PG, Melo team.) He’s been been paired with some top-notch superstars, only to be called the ‘sidekick’.
- 2020-21: Wizards, Bradley Beal & Westbrook
- 2019-20: Rockets, James Harden & Westbrook
- 2012-16: Thunder, Kevin Durant & Westbrook
When Stephen A alludes to the statement of “he should’ve made something happen already given the talent beside him” there are levels to it. And many fail to mention he’s been to an NBA Finals against LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Throughout the whole segment, Stephen A refers to his poor three-point shooting but he’s shooting 32% from three this year the best we’ve seen in three years.
So let me end it with this. Why do we praise Chris Paul? He doesn’t have a ring. Why do we praise Carmelo Anthony? He doesn’t have a ring. We don’t why talk about Kyle Lowry as much as we should? He has a ring, something CP3 and Melo don’t have.
Westbrook’s individual accomplishments should be appreciated far more than they are. He’s glorified as this bad teammate, who only cares about his numbers, but every teammate he’s had says how great a teammate he is and how selfless he is on the court. One last thing – according to basketball reference, Westbrook has a 99.9% chance to make the hall-of-fame. Like him or not, whenever you reference Russ, make sure it’s “Future hall of famer” Russell Westbrook.
Here is a bonus clip of Russ’s best dunks …. over the past 5 seasons. The man does not age.