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Zach Lowe took the gloves off ”It’s time to call a spade a spade. Russ is not a superstar.”


There may be no NBA name more under fire than Russel Westbrook this season. The former MVP joined LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer in an attempt to form a “Big 3” in Tinseltown, but instead of excitement, the move cast much doubt on the Lakers’ title hopes this season.

The Lakers are now 19-19 after a home victory against a depleted Minnesota Timberwolves team. However, despite the win, the focus post-game was still on Westbrook’s ten turnovers - half of all Lakers turnovers came from Brodie.

Westbrook’s recent performances have put him in the hot seat, as experts continue to question his ability to contribute to winning. However, one basketball analyst has finally said what many are unwilling to say regarding the current value of Russel Westbrook.

“It’s time to call a spade a spade. Russ is not a superstar.”

Zach Lowe, The Lowe Podcast

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In Lowe’s defense, he qualifies the statement by saying that a superstar is someone who can make an All-NBA Team, which for today’s version of Westbrook is just not possible. First of all, it’s very seldom that the third-best player on the team is an All-NBA guy, and in Russ’ case, the numbers he puts up just seem hollow these days. However, Lowe’s guest Jeff Van Gundy offers a broader view of what constitutes a superstar in the NBA.

“That’s the definition of a superstar, is someone who has the ability to be really good, or great, more nights than most players in the league”

Jeff Van Gundy, The Lowe Podcast

Unfortunately, even if we go by Van Gundy’s more forgiving definition of a superstar, Russ does not seem to fit the bill, in my opinion. Why is that? Well, he is simply not really good or great on more nights than the rest of the league, primarily due to his turnovers and errant plays this year with the Lakers. So many people say that no one plays harder than Russel Westbrook, and while that might be true, can a person who plays as hard as he be as much of a liability on defense as Russ is?

“You are not what you are for the entirety of your NBA career.”

Jeff Van Gundy, The Lowe Podcast

Forget the effort, and forget the mentality. Playing hard should also mean doing so with the right approach to the game. And while we will never know if Russ intends to create chaos for his own team while on the floor, the results speak for themselves.

Westbrook is one of the 75 Greatest Players in NBA history, but unlike many of the great players on that list, his prime isn’t just as long as those other guys. Lowe is correct here in saying that Russ is no longer a superstar, so now he just needs to find a way to get over that and start playing winning basketball.

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