A lot of different opinions concerning Russell Westbrook are circling around. More than one says that Brodie isn’t championship material, that he can’t be as good as he can be if he isn’t the top-dog on the team. We won’t ever be sure what could have been if KD didn’t leave OKC, but that’s another story.
Other than that, Russ annoys people with his gunman style of play. His, at times, poor decision making has cost his teams a few victories in the past. And, of course, his shooting isn’t as good. But he’s still a triple-double machine, slam-dunk highlight reel, and a player whose energy is unmatched. One thing that doesn’t come up very often is his behavior when he’s not in the spotlight. Brodie’s star teammate in Washington, Bradley Beal, shares insight into Westbrook’s professionalism.
“He has the resume, mentally and physically, he’s gifted. Just from a professional standpoint, our work has been great every day, we haven’t had that I promise you in my nine years being here. It’s a natural carryover, it’s like contagious a lot of time. He forces that out of you, and that’s what I love for me, because I don’t have to be the vocal one all the time. We’re trying to nip that in the bud in camp. I’m telling guys to be aggressive, take that shot. I might yell at you, Russ might yell at you if it’s a bad shot. But at the end of the day, we want the best shot for the team every single time.”Bradley Beal, Yahoo Sports
It didn’t work out with Russ and Harden in Houston last year. A lot of people were even amazed at how did Westbrook even ended up with Harden. But the Rockets thought they had a ring shot with those two. Oh, and with that extra small line-up with no centers insight. After the fuse has blown, Russ asked for a way out, and now he’s at Washington. In his first game of the season, he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, 15 assists, and the Wizards took an L against the 76ers.
The championship is out of the question this year for Brodie, but his stats could bump up at that triple-double rate. Who knows, maybe he can help this Wizards team in some way after all. He already started implementing a different culture, that counts for something.
There may be a ceiling with Russell Westbrook, but there’s definitely a floor – that’s something many NBA teams lack these days and is an underrated quality.