Since he came in the league in 2008, he was known to be a player with a big ego, and that has affected him throughout time, whether if we are talking about his relationships with some former teammates, or strictly his individual game. All the world knows about the departure of Durant and the main reason behind that decision, and as times goes on, his reason is beginning to be more and more accurate. Sure, since Kevin left, Westbrook won an MVP award and he recently completed his third straight triple-double averaging season, a thing that no one could make in the entire NBA history, so we can’t take this away from him. But, basketball is way more than just personal stats and big egos, so you need some unselfishness in your character if you want to actually make something in the playoffs. Apparently, this is not the case for Russ, as he seems to burry each and every player that he is playing with.
He is playing too much hero ball, he wants to do everything while being fancy on the floor, but it just doesn’t work and this can be seen in this series against the Trail Blazers. The rivalry between him and Damian Lillard is a fun thing to watch, but Russell doesn’t know when to stop his personal “issues” with Dame and start to play for the team. This ego of his will cost Oklahoma City one more failed season, and we don’t know how much patience the Thunder organization still has for Westbrook to do something notable in the playoffs… at least get past the first round. His shooting percentages are a reason to worry, as he has 30% from the 3-point land and 38% from inside the arc. That’s very poor for an All Star of his caliber, unacceptable.
As an addition to all that, he is jacking way too much 3s, instead of having patience in his game and calmly get to his spots. If the Thunder will get eliminated in the first round once again, the general manager should take in consideration to trade him. It might sound crazy, as he recently signed a 5-year contract at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, worth $205M, but it seems that nothing works for him there, no matter what All Star is playing alongside him. They tried with Durant, one of the greatest scorers of all time, it didn’t work, now they are trying with Paul George, a perennial All Star, who is in his second season there, and it just doesn’t seem to be clicking now or in the near future. He had an extraordinary season, the best of his career, but at this time of your career you can’t be thankful with yourself by just playing good in the regular season.
The problem with Oklahoma is that, as I already mentioned before, they play too much hero ball, and this “tempo” is mainly given by Westbrook, who is always in his personal battles with his matchups. This is hurting both him and the franchise. A lot. This season was seen as one with their biggest chances to make some noise in the playoffs, some analysts even saying that if there is a team that can beat the Warriors, that team is Oklahoma City Thunder. Since then, things changed, and Westbrook seem to be falling short once again. As much as I hate saying this, and I didn’t want to believe that it’s true, but Westbrook made us think that he is, indeed, a player who gets out on the floor and thinks about his stats first. Russell’s mentality won’t win any championships, unfortunately for him and his legacy.