Russell Westbrook is one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history, an insane talent who has never really won anything as far as team accolades go during his career.
The takes about him got ramped up after he and the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in Game 6 by the upstart Utah Jazz.
We decided that the mainstream media shouldn’t be the only ones who are allowed to have fun with Westbrook and the Thunder bowing out early again, so here are some off-the-cuff takes about him.
- Outside of maybe LeBron and Steph Curry, there is probably not a more entertaining player to watch, night-in, night-out.
- He is also one of the like three best players in the league at any given time.
- It is very impressive that he has averaged a triple-double each of the last two seasons. But…
- Those are kind of hollow stats. Let’s be real, this is a way different NBA where every team tries to play as fast as possible, put up as many shots as possible, and shoot as many 3’s as possible, so there are way more opportunities for him to pad all of those stats.
- And he is a stat padder. Watch any game and it looks like nobody is going after defensive rebounds except him, or that anybody is allowed to go after defensive rebounds except him.
- Despite averaging double-digit assists, he’s one of the most selfish players I’ve ever seen. Those assists are because he wants to get to 10, not because he thinks it makes the team better. If it were him he would shoot every time down the floor.
- For better or worse, he thinks every game solely depends on him and nobody else on the team, even when he had Kevin Durant, and now Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Part of the reason I think those two struggled is they were used to being the go-to option on their previous teams, and suddenly they had to be happy with whatever scrap Westbrook was giving them. Now, Carmelo stinks, but George is a very good player and it still looked like such an awkward fit. Absolutely nobody else gets a chance to lead the play. The ball is always in his hands. Sometimes this works, like it did in Game 5 against Utah, sometimes it doesn’t, like Game 6.
- He and the team would be so much more complete if he played off the ball working to get open on screens and set plays, rather than letting him do whatever he thinks he can, only to hoist up a fallaway 25-footer as the shot clock sounds.
- He is a terrible dresser and comes of like an Instagram star who just happens to play basketball.
- I truly don’t think that he is ever going to win a title with the way he plays, and that his style of play will keep big-name free agents away.
- Just on stats alone he’ll probably retire as one of the 10 best players ever.
So those are my takes on Russell Westbrook.