Blog Entry

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

Posted on: May 22, 2011 5:45 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2011 7:08 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young



Did you think maybe we were finally done talking about Russell Westbrook? You'd be wrong.

Westbrook responded well to his so-called "benching" in Game 3, putting up 30 points for Oklahoma City that included eight straight points in the fourth quarter to get the Thunder back in the game. In the end, they lost to the Mavericks, but Westbrook bounced back strong.

Controvsery over? Hardly. Via the New York Daily News, one Thunder veteran says that Westbrook has an ego and that's what's interfered:
What undoubtedly fueled Westbrook's fiery response is a sense of entitlement. As one Thunder veteran said, privately, "He thinks he's better than Kevin Durant."

Not only that, but Westbrook has the backing of Thunder GM Sam Presti, who made a name for himself with his drafting of Westbrook with the fourth pick in 2008. Presti's micromanagement behind the scenes has caused some friction between the head of the front office and his coaches, but Brooks didn't pay any attention to that when he saw that Maynor was his best option to even the series.

Who is this mystery vet? Kevin Ollie? Desmond Mason? Robert Swift? Who knows. And who knows why he felt the need to pass along this information either.

But just that line alone -- Westbrook thinks he's better than Durant -- is going to stir the pot. But when you're an All-Star, a second-team All-NBA player that's as confident in yourself as Westbrook, would you really not think you're better than Durant. Not us in the general public here. We all know Durant is better. In terms of Westbrook, is it really so bad to think that? In fact, isn't it probably a good thing?

Everyone is biased about themselves. Other than maybe your mother, your biggest fan is normally you. Westbrook isn't any different. But that line reeks of ego and arrogance, therefore stirring the Westbrook vs. Durant pot a bit more.

And Westbrook has always played with a chip on his shoulder and an absurd amount of emotion. That's who he is and how he's always been. Westbrook probably thinks he's better than not just Durant, but Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and pretty much every player you toss out there. That's how great players think. They believe in themselves to the greatest degree. Kobe thinks he's better than Michael Jordan, even if we all know that it isn't true.

But here's a fun stat: Did you know entering Game 3 Saturday, Westbrook had assisted on 54 of Durant's field goals this postseason? Why is that number significant? Because it leads the NBA not just by a little, but doubles the next closest tandem (27 for Rajon Rondo to Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd to Dirk Nowitzki). It's not like Westbrook keeps the ball away from Durant here people. Durant has led the league in scoring the last two years and leads the playoffs this year with Westbrook as his point guard.

I'm reminded of the playoffs last year where the Thunder pushed the Lakers to six games. Multiple times in that series Westbrook had a wide open dunk of his own on a fast break but decided instead to drop off a pass to Durant trailing behind him. Westbrook put it simply when he was asked about why he did it. He said, "It's my job to get guys going and KD needed to get going." Doesn't sound like a guy too wrapped up in himself, does it?
Comments

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

@ Hawkman77-

After reading several of your posts, it appears you are an educated person who takes the time to make a strong, well-worded point about a given topic.  Only question I have after reviewing your proflie, would you be such a strong critic of Westbrook if he were still a Sonic, or would your comments soften a little if the NBA hadn't stolen your team from the Great Northwest? 

Westbrook is an emotional player and was fired up for the errors at the end of the 3rd along with the foul he picked up before sitting.  No one can say as to what he was upset about for the good part of the 4th, but it's just as fair to assume he was disappointed in his performance as much as it is to say he was mad about sitting on the bench.




Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

ok djac has lost all credibility after this post



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

This article and "writer" are a joke.  Royce Young being allowed to write about basketball is a slap in the face to anyone that watche basketball.  This guy runs a Thunder homer message board where he bans anyone that doesn't post praises for the Thunder.  And this guy actually thinks we're dumb enough to disregard our own eyes and believe his stupid article with regard to westBRICK/KD?  EVERYONE other than biased homers like Royce Young sees the same thing watching the thunder.  Westbrook has NO b-ball IQ and the Thunder would be better off as a team with a slightly less talented but a smarter PG. 



Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:39 am
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

you're an idiot



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:38 am
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

Westbrook put it simply when he was asked about why he did it. He said, "It's my job to get guys going and KD needed to get going." Doesn't sound like a guy too wrapped up in himself, does it?
This is as dumb as Young's last column that said Westbrook was cheering his teammates from the bench because of a picture he posted showing him doing so.  It was ignorant, just one isolated pic after 20 minutes of Westbrook pouting, where Westbrook finally regained a sense of professionalism after the Thunder pushed the lead to 10.

The ridiculous statement above is irrelevant.  Most people don't equate Westbrook's problems with selfishness in the classic sense.  When the pressure is on, when he gets upset at a referee or another player, he tries to "show them" by ignoring the offense and chucking up bad shots 5 seconds into the shot clock.  That's the real issue holding Westbrook back from being a star - can he ever learn to "get guys going" when he's hit his emotional peak?  When it's something other than a breakaway dunk?



Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 23, 2011 12:01 am
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

I don't give this story any weight. The Thunder have a bigger task to handle than a young great PG having confidence in himself. If you don't have that swagger you can't excell at the highest level. Bottomline is Durant and Westbrook play great together and have for 3 years now. It's the medias job to stir the pot. The Thunder will figure it out and Westbrook will play better. It takes time just ask the leagues MVP Mr. Rose. There are always growing pains on the way to the top, and we have 2 young PG's that had major growth spurts this year. And who is this anonymous Thunder vet, he's probably upset because he was never half the player Westbrook or Durant are. Goodluck OKC.



Since: Oct 18, 2010
Posted on: May 22, 2011 7:55 pm
 

Thunder vet: Westbrook thinks he's better than KD

Spin it how you want, but not only is Westbrook not better than Kevin Durant, in this series and on these days in May 2011, he's not even better than Jason Kidd.  I believe most GM's trying to win a championship in 2011 would take Kidd over Westbrook.  Obviously, due to age and upside potential any GM would take Westbrook over Kidd for the long run.  But we're not talking about the long run, we're talking about the 2011 Western Conference Finals.  Westbrook should worry about being better than his opponent more than being better than his superior teammate.


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