I think it’s time we stop with the Russell Westbrook hero worship.
As a basketball player, fan, and someone who fancies himself a coach, I cannot stand stand watching Westbrook play basketball.
Sure that kind of emotion and energy are what you want to see in players, but it has to be controlled.
I want to see a guy get pumped, and carry his team efficiently, not a mad man take wild shots that go in only 42% of the time.
By the way, that 42% puts the presumed MVP outside of the top 100 players in the league in field goal percentage.
I had to school Mullan High School’s athletic director Stetson Spooner on this very topic just a few days ago.
It was a lot of fun watching him average a triple-double while effectively sticking it to Kevin Durant who abandoned Westbrook over the summer.
The triple-double thing was cool considering no one has done it since Oscar Robertson 1962(holla atcha boy Big O), but even he didn’t win MVP that year because he wasn’t the best or most valuable player in the league.
Bill Russell, a guy who averaged 18 points per game and 23 rebounds per game won the MVP over Big O’s triple-double average and Wilt Chamberlain’s 50 points per game.
But his Celtics were the Eastern Conference champions and NBA champions.
Winning should matter concerning who the most valuable player is.
It did with Steph Curry.
It did with LeBron.
Why are we giving Westbrook a hall pass?
Because his “bestie” left him in OKC?
There are two people currently, just off the top of my head, who are most definitely better than Westbrook, or certainly more valuable.
James Harden and Kawhi Leonard.
Harden has assumed the duty of being the Rocket’s primary ball handler and scorer, while also leading the team in assists, all the while leading the Rockets to the third best record in the Western Conference (WC).
Kawhi Leonard is about to be the three time (in a row) defensive player of the year on a Spurs team that is number two in the WC.
He is also the leading scorer for his team, but then guards the opposing team’s best player.
These guys are doing things right, they score effectively, they lead their teams, they are not their entire team.
If you want to measure Westbrook against the NBA’s current measuring stick of greatness, the one and only LeBron James you would see how flawed the system is when taking into account how inefficient Westbrook is compared to how much he gets used.
Westbrook is used on a league leading 40 percent of his team's possessions and shoots 42.4 in FG percentage and takes an average of 24 shots per game while a guy like LeBron is shooting 54 percent total and taking 18 shots, but his usage is 14th in the league at 29.1 percent But there is only a five point per game (ppg) difference. LeBron also shoots 36 percent from deep compared to 34 percent for Russ. If you add up these numbers and then adjust them to what Westbrook does and had him shoot the same FG percentage as LeBron he would be averaging around 40 ppg.
Which in turn would make him the most efficient player in NBA history, not a guy who isn’t even in the top 100 this season.