The love fest for Stephen Curry is still strong and the same can be said for LeBron James. But if you ask any of those players who they will pay to see, the answer will be a unanimous, Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook is playing on a level this season that NBA players can only dream about. If you were the GM of a new franchise and could start by taking one player, who would it be?
James comes to mind and so does Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and a few others but there is still a difference between them and Westbrook. James is still in the mind frame that he’s nothing without a team. And that’s a good way to think, during the regular season. But when those lights are shining brightly in the playoffs, a true warrior will do whatever it takes to make sure his team is the last one standing. James is not as clutch as some may think. Yes, he has hit some clutch shots but in the playoffs, he was bailed out too many times by Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and recently, Kyrie Irving. He’s not that guy.
Curry has fun, he has a killer instinct as well. As a PG, his job is to set up teammates and he does that as good as any but Curry at this point in his career is an entertainer. Yes, he’s cocky as most great players are but he’s more on the side of a showman than an assassin. The shimmy and airplane high fives to the crowd and not to mention the taking of three’s from close to halfcourt are proof of that. Curry understands that fans pay to see a show, so he puts on one. Winning cures everything and in Curry’s case, it is a Gift and Curse type of deal. I like Curry but he reminds me a lot of LeBron during James early years. It was all fun and games at first.[embedit snippet=”2″]
Durant is a special talent but we have yet to see what Durant can do alone. His career he’s always had that All-Star caliber player beside him. From Ray Allen to James Harden, Russell Westbrook and now Curry. What can Durant do when leading a team by himself? He’s good, will always put up MVP numbers but until he’s faced with carrying a team on his shoulders he should not be a player you start a franchise with.
Westbrook is the guy. When building a team, owners want fans in the seats but a coach wants a player that can play. Say what you want about his leadership abilities but look where he has the Oklahoma City Thunder now. Many knew he would come out with a chip on his shoulder but what he’s doing now, he’s done for the past two seasons. It just so happens that people are starting to pay attention.
How many PGs can you name that attacks the rim like he does? Not for a layup or finger-roll but to throw one down hard on a 7-footer? He takes criticism for his shots (24 per game) but didn’t Michael Jordan do the same? But yet, he still manages to average 10+ assists. How many PGs can you count on one hand that loves to mix it up with the bigs and still pull down 10+ rebounds a game when most are running downcourt for a fast break? Westbrook is in a class by himself now. He puts on a show for the fans sure, but it’s in the spirit of winning, not showing up an opponent. There are no smiles, his face his straight business. We know what he can do when carrying a team. He gets mad when he’s not the person taking the last shot.
If you’re looking for a player to start a franchise with, Westbrook is your guy. If not, then he will go out and destroy the player you chose before him.