Russell Westbrook is a scary player in a league of supremely talented basketball players.
He’s skilled at getting to the basket. His mid range jumpshot is one of the best in the game. He’s athletic. He’s competitive. He’s strong. He plays tough defense. He dunks with ferocity. He’s one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA.
Russell Westbrook tries to do it all, but what makes Russell Westbrook the scariest player in the NBA is that he is relentless. He won’t ever stop coming at you. There are no breaks. No plays off. One play after another Russell Westbrook is trying to beast on you.
Due to his relentlessness, having to guard Russell Westbrook or being guarded by Russell Westbrook must be a utter nightmare. Imagine a stronger, faster, higher-jumping Kyrie Irving that has a chip on his shoulder and wants to completely annihilate you every time (Ok, Westbrook isn’t the three-point shooter or dribbler than Irving is, but you get the point).
Westbrook can’t be stopped nor he won’t be stopped. He might miss the shot, but he’s going after the rebound. No pass is safe. No rim is safe.
In basketball, there’s a saying that if you’re a shooter and having a bad shooting game, that you have to keep shooting. That’s what you do. You have to keep coming. Russell Westbrook applies that philosophy to every aspect of the game. He drives hard. He dunks hard. He simply is in attack mode 24/7.
For better or worse (lately, it’s been for the better), Westbrook goes after each offensive and defensive play as if it’s his last EVER. For all the things I’ve knocked him for in the past: the bad decision-making, poor shot selection and his inability to see the floor all the time, one thing I never faulted Westbrook was his effort; he goes after it every second he’s on the floor.
Unlike some NBA players whom love to shoot every time, but don’t put in the work. That’s not Westbrook. He’ll shoot, but he’ll also hustle, rebound and play defense. I respect that.
And as Westbrook’s floor game has caught up with his athleticism, he will only get more efficient. As good as Westbrook has been, to think that he would ever challenge Kevin Durant as the best player on the Oklahoma City Thunder even a year ago, was ludicrous, but now that Westbrook has hit another level, that might not be a one-sided argument any longer.