Maybe Russell Westbrook is simply playing in the wrong era for the wrong team.
Despite the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar putting up monster numbers while keeping his squad in playoff contention despite a season-long rash of injuries, Westbrook remains as divisive a player as basketball knows. But another future Hall-of-Famer with a relatively similar playing style is firmly the in the 25 year-old’s corner.
During an appearance on Wednesday’s broadcast of the Philadelphia 76ers game, Allen Iverson was asked what he looks for when evaluating a player. “Fight,” he said, before espousing his adoration for Westbrook unprompted.
“I’m the biggest Westbrook fan I think there is. He reminds me so much of myself as far as his heart, laying it on the line night in and night out. Just bringing it every single night.”
Russ is one of the best players in basketball for countless reasons, but his relentless competitive fire is perhaps chief among them – exactly like it was for Iverson. But his standing as the Thunder’s nominal sidekick and sometimes questionable decision-making makes him an lightning rod for criticism that The Answer mostly avoided becoming.
It’s unfair, frankly, but an almost inevitable of consequence Westbrook’s wholly unique NBA circumstance in 2015. Here’s hoping support from a legend like like Iverson helps stem that idiocy.