The Golden State Warriors might be blowing out teams by astronomical amounts, but these days I spend more time watching the Oklahoma city thunder…. or should I say, checking their box score. It’s becoming a full time job keeping up with Russell Westbrooks Triple Doubles. Where’s that kid from the Jordan commercials when you need him?
Last I checked “Triple Westbrook” had just recorded yet another Triple Double, marking his 5th consecutive tying a mark set by Laker legend Magic Johnson back in 1987. Yes, I just used Magic and Westbrook in the same sentence. I guess there’s a first for everything. But it’s really Michael who the young Thunder star is more comparable with, just ask MJ himself.
I think we can all agree that there will never be another Jordan, however, I’ve always seen a little MJ in Russels game. The way he relentlessly attacks the basket, his competitive nature, will to win and overall passion for the game are all “like Mike” and right now he’s doing the best MJ impersonation to date as he closes in on Michael Jordans record of 7 straight triple doubles.
In fact, Westbrook might actually be better than Jordan has ever been in the Triple Double department this season. Currently, he’s has tallied total of 9 through only 21 games. You do the math. He’s basically averaging a Triple Double. Forget Jordan and Magic, if Russy can keep it up he’s in Ocar Robinson territory.
Ok, Triple Doubles are great, for now, but something tells me Westbrook won’t be satisfied until he gets that much coveted MVP award or better yet an NBA championship. And thats not too far fetched considering Russells “do it all” performance is currently producing wins. It’s not just empty stats or Westbrook purposely stat padding, but Westbrooks efforts are desperatley needed. He’s the only thing keeping OKC afloat in this post Durant era.
Westbrook is making his team better and producing wins with our without Durant. In fact, the Thunder currently have the exact same record without KD, 12-8 as they did with him last season. At the moment they sit currently near the top of their conference which is even more amazing considering everyone had them in next years Draft lottery the moment Durant announced he’d be taking his talents to the Bay.
In 1993 when Jordan left the Bulls for retirement, nobody expected the team to fall off the map. They still had Pippen, right? They even Without the ‘GOAT’ they managed to make it to the Second round of the playoffs.
Last time I checked, Durant isn’t Jordan. Yea, he’s former a league MVP and 4 time scoring champion, but with him out of the equation, the Thunder surprisingly haven’t skipped a beat. They may not the championship contenders anymore, but still be a very dangerous team; One lead by a player with a huge chip on his shoulder, and something to prove. Now that it’s officially Westbrook’s team, he has no choice but to be the true franchise player the OKC needs to forward for the future. Thats not just a potential scoring champion or MVP candidate, but most importanatly one capable of leading and carrying a team to a title.
For years, The Thunder expected this from Durant. He was the future of the Thunder ever since the team was named the Sonics. Meanwhile, Westbrook was often seen as expendable. Thunder fans wanted to trade him. He was deemed the problem child on the team. The Sports Media analysts viewed him as a selfish player who wasn’t compatible with a talent like Durant. He was essentially the Kryptonie to Durants superpower. Many basketball fans dreamed of what Durant would do on his own team, or at least playing with a “true” pass first point guard, without Westbrook holding him back. Turns out Kevin Durant was the one holding Westbrook back.
Westbrook spent 8 years, 8 long years playing in OKC under Durants shadow, essentially the Pippen to Durant’s “Jordan” all the while nobody suspected he was potentially a walking triple double waiting to happen. Only recently Westbrook would begin making a real name for himself. Last season he proved to be a force to be reckoned with even next to Durant. By the seasons end he had emerged as the leader of the Thunder – who looked their best since they made the nba finals in 2012 – and if not for Currys magical season, would’ve been in the running for league MVP.
With the new 2016-17 season he’s simply picked up where he left off. Right now, he’s now the talk of the NBA for what hes on the court and hes doing things we have never seen in the modern era of the league. Filling the void that Durant left in Oklahoma is it’s pushing his talents to the limits we’ve never seen before and he’s doing things we having seen in the modern NBA. Forget Durant, Westbrook is now being compared to, legends and hall of famers from the NBA past.
For once, the media, NBA and it’s fans can no longer “hate on the brodie” – a phrase Westbrook has adopted perhaps to mock all the negative energy being sent his way over the years.
Any criticism Westbrook faced had prior to this season are forgotten, epescially since he signed the new contract extension.He can do now wrong. He’s the hero now. Durant is the villain.
Now that the Thunder is basically Westbrooks team, he has absolutley nothing to lose except games. The 2016-17 season is essentially a blank slate. For the first time in his NBA career, Russell has no pressure or expectations other than to play every game like his last. On the court he finally the freedom to do “what he wants”. Thats one scary a scenario to give any player, let alone one with Westbrooks talent.
With Durants out the picture, we finally get to see 100 percent Westbrook 100 percent of the time. That used to be the one thing many OKC fans feared most. Turns out it is actually the best thing to happen to them since Durant, and the best thing we’ve seen in the NBA in a long time.