Russell Westbrook Had A Season Reminiscent of Michael, Kobe

Russell Westbrook Had A Season Reminiscent of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James, but was it all for nothing? It won’t be for a playoff birth for his OKC Thunder, and it probably won’t win him the MVP trophy.

It wasn’t lost. It was also just the tip of the player that Westbrook can be in the next 4-6 years.

Westbrook took heat from the media, the same heat that has come his way since Thunder lost to Miami in the 2012 NBA Finals.

Westbrook was great this year. He played like Michael did in the 80s. He played like Kobe Bryant did after Shaq left. That isn’t the only thing in common with Michael and Kobe. They both had great stats before they won. When Michael put up 69 in the Boston Garden, his Bulls were swept in the series. When Kobe scored 81 points in a game, his team lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Their greatness would come later when they had a team built around them. More on that later, but let’s look at how great Westbrook was this year.

 

This season, Westbrook averaged career-highs in points (28.1), rebounds (7.3), assists (8.6) and steals (2.1).

He also led the league in triple-doubles with 11. The next closest player had three.

Only two players in the last 20 seasons — Jason Kidd (twice) and Grant Hill — had more triple doubles in a season, but both played a full year. Westbrook missed 15 games.

On April 12, Westbrook went off for a career-high 54 points in an eventual 116-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

If the Thunder had won, it would’ve been crucial to their playoff hopes, and Westbrook would’ve been praised for the victory.

A loss meant several members of the media attacked Westbrook and his 43 shots.

Kobe Bean himself tweeted in defense of Westbrook, saying the only way to silence the critics is by winning.

Kobe isn’t just standing up for Westbrook, he is playing politics for his own Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers don’t just want Westbrook to come to LA after the 2016 season, THEY NEED HIM TOO.

Besides the politics, Kobe won 2 rings after Shaq left. Michael won 6. It’s really hard to hear the critics talk through the fog of the victory cigar.

If Westbrook lights up now a stogie now, he would just add more critics. Those critics would be just. Tracy McGrady won scoring titles, but he will be remembered for being lazy and not winning anything else.

Westbrook isn’t McGrady. He attacks the rim like a pit bull goes after it’s first meal in a week.

It’s hard to vote against Steph Curry this year for MVP. He was the best player on the best team, and he had a great season.

Russell might be remembered for his great year, but he doesn’t want to be. He wants to win, and he will. He is 26, has already had a season ending injury, has been an all star 4 times, and is just going to get better. In 7 NBA seasons he has been to the playoffs 5 times. The Finals once.

He isn’t just a sidekick anymore. Durant has known it. The Thunder front office and Scott Brooks has known it.

This season the rest of the league saw it, and it was a sign of scary times ahead.

Let’s praise Russell Westbrook for what he did, but let’s also nag at him until he turns into Michael or Kobe.

 

 

 

Written by Catfish Hughes

Catfish Hughes

Frank “Catfish” Hughes has been called, “Bob Knight’s Baby with Hip Hop that covers sports.” and “the future of sports writing!” He is an official member of the NSSA & USBWA. Catfish covers the Los Angeles Angeles as the official East Coast Voice of the Lakers, and owns the NBA media outlet, WickedJumpShot.com and was the host of Thru the Wire Sports Talk Radio which aired on both ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. Catfish is the head editor and chief here at the Boxing Globe. @CatfishHughes on twitter.