Steven Adams has carved out a niche as one of the most unique players in the NBA today. Sure, that applies to how he plays, as Adams is something of a throwback big man. He’s not a guy who will stretch the floor, but instead, he crashes the glass, plays stour defense, and when he sets hard screens, he rolls to the rim instead of popping out for a jumper.
But the way Adams is really unique is that he has a personality that doesn’t really exist elsewhere in the NBA. He’s legitimately hilarious, but not in a way where it ever feels like he’s trying to be funny. Adams is just someone who embraces being himself, which works for him.
An example of this came in a story Royce Young wrote for ESPN on the Thunder’s delightful big man. Adams broke down his relationship with Russell Westbrook, which is fairly unique, because Westbrook isn’t exactly known for being warm and open with others but seems to really love playing with Adams.
To the big man, there’s not much to think about, because there’s never anything to think about when it comes to his relationships with others.
“I don’t look into it too much, it’s just who I am,” Adams says of his relationship with Westbrook. “See, because I’m weird. I’m really f—ing weird. Socially awkward, at best. Just bizarre. [I] say weird stuff all the time. So I don’t look into relationships too much.
“Like, ‘Ah we had this one moment.’ Nothing like that. It’s just, ‘S—, does he like me? This is who I am, go f—yourself if you don’t like me.’”
It is really easy to see how the whole “This is who I am, go f*ck yourself if you don’t like me” mindset would appeal to Westbrook, and it’s evident that there is absolutely some kind of connection between the two, at least on the floor. But even if there wasn’t, it doesn’t seem like Adams would mind all that much.