A few days ago, Russell Westbrook had himself a monster game in a win against a solid Indiana Pacers squad exploding for 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 21 assists. It was a remarkable performance but not something we haven’t seen from Westbrook before because he’s been doing it for years now. It even got to the point where people are no longer surprised when he puts numbers like this because that is expected from him in every game.
Despite all his dominance in every aspect of the game, Westbrook doesn’t get much love from the fans because many believe he is stat padder and not a winner. That is an absolutely ridiculous notion, and the lack of appreciation for Westbrook was one of the topics Duncan Robinson talked about on his podcast. Robinson had the opportunity to face Westbrook on multiple occasions so far in his career and believes people need to respect his game.
Russ slander will not be tolerated. At one point, you have to sit back and just be in awe. I know people will always say that he is stat-padding or stat hunting, but first of all, he did it in a win. What he is able to do in Bradley Beal’s absence and for him to come and that was just incredible. I don’t think he gets nearly enough appreciation that he really deserves.Duncan Robinson, via Duncan Robinson Podcast
Robinson also points out Westbrook’s incredible consistency throughout the years, no matter which team he was playing for in his career. Some fans and people from the media believed Westbrook’s out would decrease as he gets older because his athleticism is no longer on the same level as it was a few years ago, but he continues to prove people wrong. There is a big misconception that if you are not winning championships, you are not a great player, which is entirely a false narrative.
He’s been doing it for so long, too, which makes it so impressive. It’s just the longevity, and he does it wherever he goes. Even last year, it was one of his better, more impressive seasons from a statistical standpoint just based on efficiency. Everyone seems to think he is done and that he is washed up. There are people who will say until he does it where they win, but the reality is that he has been on really good teams. There is a misconception of pinning it on one player just because they weren’t able to get it done from a championship perspective; it takes so much more than that. It’s just incredible what he was able to do at such a high level at such a long time.Duncan Robinson, via Duncan Robinson Podcast
Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is that Russell Westbrook played in every single game this season for the Washington Wizards. Even though he is scoring the least amount of points that he did in recent years, he is still averaging a triple-double once again in his career. Westbrook is averaging 21.7 points, 10.7 assists, and 10.3 rebounds per game, and if he keeps it up this way, this will be his fourth season averaging a triple-double which is something no one has ever done before. The Wizards are not in the playoffs, and right now, things are not looking good for this squad; however, when Bradley Beal returns, they will have more firepower that could help them win games.
All the criticism Westbrook is receiving is uncalled for, especially when you consider he comes ready to play every game and is always highly motivated and competitive. Even if he never wins a championship, he will go down as one of the best and most athletic guards the league has ever seen and a great leader that never called out his teammates no matter what happened. He has that old-school mentality that is somewhat lost in the modern-day NBA.