Russel Westbrook Is For The Savages By Joshua Despinosse
We've all seen Russell Westbrook blaze down the court at some of the fastest speeds we've ever seen on a basketball court. I've heard television doesn't even do that man justice to explain the speed and the ferocity in which he gets to the rim. You know what's coming right after his fastbreak, don't you? It's always either an acrobatic layup or that one handed tomahawk jam. The latter of which is THEE HARDEST rim rattling slam in the league today. That should barely be up for debate but we know casual watchers would beg to differ. He'll even throw in a nasty euro step every now and again.. and let me tell you something. I don't know who has a nastier euro than him in the league today. James Harden maybe? Best leave that topic for another day my friends because that's still a big IF. After punishing the rim he usually roars his approval looking at the crowd, eyes glazed over in fury. I've never been to one of his games but I'd like to assume his energy is so chaotic and forceful you can feel it in the stands. Someone would have to tell me about it because my imagination will never suffice. I'm only drawing a picture on what I'd imagine if I've been to a game. Haters will say last season he padded his stats and shouldn't have gotten MVP. Forget what a hater got to say though. You just don't get forty-two triple doubles by "padding stats" and still getting into the playoffs without Kevin Durants slithering help.
Then, you got Steph Curry. If Westbrook was the equivalent of a Dodge Demon, then Stephen Curry is the equivalent of a Tesla Model X. Smooth and easy and with enough acceleration to hang with the big boys. You have to ask yourselves though, is Curry favored more by fans than Westbrook because he's more likeable? Less in your face? He's definitely not as aggressive. Don't tell me he isn't favored. How many times have we seen our boy Curry fling that, disgusting, drool infested mouth piece at fans or players. I'm sure hitting people was by mistake but the action itself was no accident. You didn't hear a peep from most people. Although he was fined, we're not talking about the League having a bias towards Curry. We're talking about you, the people! Curry for the 2017-2018 NBA season was appointed team Captain of the West for the All Star weekend being held in Los Angeles on February 18th, by you, the people, yet again. Even though Curry was out for a total of 11 games. From December 4th to December 31st, Curry didn't see any action at all! Yet there he is again outshining Westbrook amongst the masses, when really a player like Westbrook is a people's champ. Don't we all like the struggle of a hero? Don't we like the story of the misunderstood underdog? Time and again Westbrook has been dethroned and denounced by most NBA fans. Oh how you all cried for Harden or LeBron to get the MVP last year instead of a man that plays with so much heart and energy every single night you have to wonder "is he capable of getting tired?." That's Eighty-two games of non-stop action bringing that same energy always. Rack your mind on the last time you could remember Westbrook taking a game off, let alone a play off, I double dog dare you. He doesn't work off screens like Curry does, he gets his own buckets and demolishes anyone in his way. Yet you pick and choose this man with the nickname "baby face assassin". Why is that?
Look, I get it ok? Before you guys want to have my head on a chopping block, I'm not saying Curry isn't dope. He's spectacular actually and one of my favorite players. Just when you think the game of basketball cannot change and evolve any further, Curry comes along, even after many early seasons of him sitting out due to a plethora of ankle injuries, absolutely tears it up and sets the NBA ablaze with a barrage of three's. Even the three point greats, like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen, praise this man for what he has accomplished. I personally cannot think of a player that has turned a sport around the way Curry has other than Mike Vick for those crazy first few seasons in the NFL. I digress though guys, Curry beat a Cavilers team with LeBron being the only man you can count on. Don't even bother lying to yourselves, that CAVS team was depleted. We all know what happened the next Finals. Add Kyrie to the mix and Kevin Love and you have yourselves a 4-3 result. Despite that 3-1 joke that has been ran into the ground, that was an excellent series and any real fan of basketball could admit was evenly matched and extremely fun to watch. Then the unthinkable happened that no one saw coming, not even Westbrook himself. Arguably (hardly an argument) the second best player in the league and quite possibly a better shooter than Steph Curry himself joined the team. The Slim Reaper, daddy long legs, KD joined the GSW like it was....the normal thing to do. We all had a feeling, LeBron fans didn't dare voice it, didn't dare speak it into existence. Everyone knew however that the Golden State Warriors would win the championship that year. And they did win that year. LeBron and company didn't stand a chance. Poor Russell Westbrook was blindsided by his close friend and teammate without so much of a heads up. Man, we didn't believe Westbrook was capable of playing with anymore damn chips on his shoulder. That season he broke the triple double record, averaged a triple double, finished 6th in a tough Western division and although getting bounched out by the Houston Rockets in the first round 4-1, still managed to take home the MVP that you all wanted others to have so bad.
The date is November 22nd, 2017. Everyone was counting down to this day. The Warriors vs The Thunder. Where in the 2016 season KD and the Warriors would bully Russell, things were different this time around. Westbrook had some help in the form of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this time around. Even with the Thunders Record being a slightly shocking 8-9 at the time, we were all excited. We we're all completely taken aback during the off-season acquisitions. Melo, having just left the cancerous organization that was the New York Knickerbockers and the infested tumor that was Phil Jackson, he also had something to prove. Paul George still had rumors flying around him that the LA Lakers would be his destination after this season but was still a solid player that you better not sleep on. He always came to play no matter the situation and one would think that this game would get anyone fired up regardless of future plans. For those of you that didn't see that game, go back and watch the whole thing on YouTube. Re watch that game if you've already seen it. I've told people time and again let the Thunder figure it out and when they do, no one will want to face them in the Playoffs. Westbrook was attacking with the same bravado and fire that he always did. This time it was different however, he was more pissed and talking even more than usual. That can be expected though watching your once brother betray you and go to a team that dismantled you then turn around and bully you with said team. So fired up Westbrook was ,you can see Carmelo laughing at how animated and rude Westbrook was being. I loved every single second of that game and loved everything about Westbrook even more. What did we see on the opposite side of the floor though? Sure Curry got his shots and worked a few screens here and there but the match up problems the Thunder presented were staggering. Gone were the days Curry could mask himself in a defense and guard the weaker offensive player. With Melo and George in tow, you couldn't just double Westbrook and make the switches they normally made. Westbrook ate that man alive defensively and offensively. He looked more powerful, definitely faster, bigger stronger and more importantly, meaner than Curry. The Warriors scored the lowest amount of points in a game than they had in years with 91! Westbrook was one assist shy of a triple double. Curry on the other end looked regular and uncomfortable with a barking Westbrook in everyones grill. This was not the old Thunder, things had changed.
Curry leads the league in Jersey sales. Can you guess which place Westbrook falls in? Fifth. The reigning MVP that averaged a triple double is FIFTH in jersey sales. You can try and pretend this isn't a telling sign that Westbrook isn't favored amongst the masses plain and simple. People complain all the time on how they miss 90s ball and everyone is soft. Yet here is a player that embodies that whole era. He's a machine that doesn't stop and I'm not sure when he'll slow down. Russell Westbrook is for savages. Stephen Curry is for people that still find themselves in the friendzone at age 30. Speak up like Westbrook and you wouldn't have that problem.