In a season that was supposed to have already been decided, the NBA was surprisingly must watch television. More than likely we will get a Finals rematch from last season, however, this season has been filled with crazy moments and even crazier plays. After bearing witness to one of the greatest Finals series in NBA history, an even more surprising moment happened. Face of both the Seattle Supersonics and Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant decided to take his talents to the team who kept the Thunder from advancing to the Finals. Durant announced he would join the Golden State Warriors, leaving his brother and friend Russell Westbrook to lead his team and that is exactly what he did.
It is unlikely that the Thunder will win the championship this season, however, this season was all about Russell Westbrook. In a season that many thought would just a forgettable one after losing former MVP Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City became the team to watch. Westbrook seemed like a man on a mission to prove to the league that he was not just Durant’s sidekick. He actually became an even better player with Durant’s departure. It seemed like he turned on another gear and elevated his level of play. Even those close to him could not have expected a season like this from Brodie, as he is affectionally called.
Westbrook led the Thunder to a 47-35 record and the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. He led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals so to say he put the team on his back is actually an understatement. He also averaged the most minutes per game, over 34 to be exact. They will need Westbrook to put up big numbers in their first series against James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Both Harden and Westbrook are having an MVP season, but there is no doubt that Houston surrounded their superstar with much better talent. The fellow teammates are happy for one another and do remain in touch.
So many superstars have come under heavy criticism for taking games off for “rest”. Westbrook not only never took a game, it seemed like he never took a play off. He even played in the team’s regular season finale while other stars chose to sit out and rest for the upcoming playoffs. He has become a great role model for children who are told they will never be good enough. Westbrook has fought his whole career for respect. Even during his team at UCLA, many felt that he was out of his league and could not hand in the Pac-12. Ranked only at 151 in his class, Westbrook soon became one of he best defenders and scorers in college in 2006. He also led his team to back-to-back Final Four appearances.
You don’t have to take my opinion on why Westbrook is good for basketball. The legend Oscar Robertson who just had his triple-doubles in a regular season record broken by none other than Russell Westbrook also praised the point guard. Robertson was in Oklahoma City for the Thunder’s season finale where the team wanted to honor Westbrook for breaking the triple-doubles record. The legend gave a short speech endorsing Westbrook for MVP saying,
“When Russell was on this journey, I felt that I just had to be here. I think that what he has done has been historic in nature. He’s played with passion and pride and it’s outstanding what he’s done, the way he did it. You people should really be proud of him for his accomplishments. And I say congratulations again, and I only have one more thing to say: MVP!”
Can you really disagree with The Big O?