March 15, 2017
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There are plenty of different personalities in the NBA, but none quite like Russell Westbrook, who is the embodiment of a lot of different emotions. He isn’t the easiest person to make out because he is so different, but he’s not like this just because; there is a common chip he carries on his shoulders.
When Russell was 16 he flew out to Los Angeles from Atlanta, which is over 2,100 miles. He traveled by himself for this basketball camp. Upon entering the camp he attempted to check in, but to his surprise, his name could not be found on the list. Immediately, Russell called his coach to see what the problem was and it took about four hours of watching the other kids playing and greeting coaches from top-tier colleges for him to get his shot. To make the whole situation worse, when he got all his clothes brought to him, they were way too big for his 150-pound body so every time he ran his shorts were blowing outwards. At the time, people gave him the same looks they do now; basically, they do not know what to think or make of him.
Westbrook says that “people get the wrong perception of me, it’s always he’s so mad or why does he play with so much anger but I’m really just focused” (ESPN). To say Westbrook is having an outstanding season is an understatement. He is having one of the most unique seasons the NBA has seen. He is averaging 31.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game. He is on pace to be with Oscar Robertson as the only people to achieve a triple double average in a season. This is his first post-Kevin Durant season, and Westbrook has taken a team who also lost big man Serge Ibaka to a trade and has managed to keep the team in the playoff race with a 35-28 record through March 6.
Russell Westbrook is admired by many because of his energetic play and his loyalty through the whole Kevin Durant and James Harden situation. I asked classmate Tyrell Scott why he is a fan, and he responded, “He is not just the best on the hardwood but he also earns respect from all the players because he doesn’t back down from anybody or anything. That’s why I’m a fan”. There are always people who don’t like you and I found Russell’s person in my cousin, Manny, who says, “He is too emotional and it shows a bad look for the NBA. He whines way too much and he is childish”. Russ is my second favorite player and I love what he stands for and how he puts everything into the game every night. He deserves all the praise he’s been receiving and he is the true one man wrecking crew.