The NBA has become extremely soft over the last decade or so and a lot of the blame should be directed at the superstars of this league. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, easily the best two players of this era, set an example for the rest of the NBA by going all in with their super teams. Loyalty between a superstar and his franchise is starting to look like a thing of the past. Paul George doesn’t trust the Pacers’ front office, Lebron had his fallout with Dan Gilbert back in the day, Carmelo has his issues with Phil, and we all know what KD did last summer. All of this is what makes Russell Westbrook so special. He’s making headlines night in and night out all because of his ridiculous stat lines and even more ridiculous post game interviews. He’s bringing back that tenacious attitude that every athlete needs to have.
Nowadays, it’s rare to find a superstar that remains humble and is willing to play every night with an intensity like no other. Kawhi Leonard is as humble as they come but his personality is so Tim Duncan-esque that it makes his greatness fall under the radar, to an extent. Westbrook is the perfect player because he has the skills but also the attitude.
The fire in Russ’ face when he takes the court is unmatched. His team would probably be a lottery team right now if it weren’t for his nightly triple-double. But he didn’t leave. He stayed and improved his own game so that his franchise wouldn’t suffer. The Oklahoma City Thunder would be a championship contender if Kevin Durant never left and that’s the problem with this league.
It was this quote from Westbrook that made me really appreciate who he is:
It’s really refreshing to see an NBA player talk about the game like this for once. Russ may not seem like he’s always having fun but playing basketball is what he loves and that’s why he’s as good as it gets. The other players make the end of the season drag on by constantly needing days off and are now asking for a shortened season in the future. Shortened season?!
Russell Westbrook is a national treasure.