With the NBA season watching it half-way point it is time to take a look at the teams that are contenders or pretenders. One of those teams is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Are they a contender or a pretender? Only they know. However, there is a possible issue with them being either one. That problem is guard Russell Westbrook. He is chasing away talent in OKC.
Russell Westbrook is no doubt one of the best, if not the best guards in the NBA. This year he is single-handedly keeping the Thunder alive in the Western Conference. However, if he would consider the word team and not be an individual, things could be way different for his team. He may be able to attract the talent to play beside rather than chase it away.
Look at the talent that has left the Oklahoma City Thunder over the past couple of seasons. James Harden left the team in 2012 after having been one of the leaders for 3 seasons. Look at Serge Ibaka. He left the team this season after being one of the larger contributors since 2009. And the biggest name of all Kevin Durant. Durant left the Thunder after being a prolific member since 2007. All of these big named talents have left the team and left Westbrook to try and fend for himself. But why?
Many around the league feel that they left because of Russell Westbrook. There is a sense that he is about himself getting the title and not getting the team the title. Or that maybe even Westbrook is about individual rewards and not the team. Whatever the case may be there has been many of talented player to leave OKC in the past couple of season. Ones that truly could have assisted in winning titles.
If this trend continues, Russell Westbrook is going to be asking to be traded or will be used as a trade deadline pawn. The Thunder are slowly slipping out of the league’s best light. Simply because of one player. How do you feel about Russell Westbrook? Please leave your comments below.
Follow Sean Naylor on Twitter @NFLINSC.