On the Verge of Elimination: Westbrook Defends Teammate
A frustrated Russell Westbrook jumped to the defense of teammate Steven Adams when a reporter asked about the team’s inability to maintain a lead and close games in the series, especially with Westbrook on the bench. “Hold on, Steven,” Westbrook barked at a post-game press conference. “I don’t want nobody to try and split us up. We’re all on one team. If I go to the bench and Steven’s on the floor and I’m off the floor, we’re in this together. Don’t split us up. Don’t try to split us up. Don’t try to make us go against each other or make Russell and the rest of the guys,” Westbrook ranted. “Russell against Houston. I don’t want to hear that. We’re in this together. We play as a team. That’s all that matters.” (ESPN)
Well, Russell I hate to be the bearer of bad news but for all intensive purposes it is you against the Houston Rockets. And let’s be frank here shall we, no one is trying to split up this haphazard squad of leftover pieces, it’s self-destructing before our eyes. Now down 3-1 against a superior Rockets squad, it would take more than Noah’s Ark to carry this team to the next round. Westbrook begged for the press vultures to move on, pleading “next, question please” several times, clearly he’s sensitive about his backup dancer’s inability to keep it together (I mean why call them players when they aren’t playing, they’re essentially dancing up and down the floor with their franchise player).
With James Harden nursing an ankle injury in this opening round series of the post-season, his teammates (emphasis on the word teammates, as in those who play with you) have all come to the hardwood with their own contributions. The same can’t be said for the OKC clique who seem content sitting back with a bag of popcorn and marveling at Westbrook’s on-court prowess with the rest of us. At the rate they’re going, they’ll have only one more game to watch him play; they’ll be eliminated tonight unless someone, anyone with a OKC jersey on, decides to clean up the glass, stop the ball and for the love of everything get to the line and actually make their free throws.
There’s a tweet circulating now that Jerry West likened Russell Westbrook to the reincarnation of Michael Jordan. Well, Jerry he’s good and all but Michael Jordan won championships, the only thing Westbrook has won is a hot seat at post-game conferences and the side-eye of the year award. MVPs lead their teams; they don’t become the main attraction so I can’t co-sign this flattering hype. If he’d like to win a championship, he has to implore those other guys in matching uniforms to come to the table, right now one player is feasting and it’s famine for the bench.
Either OKC comes to play all four quarters or their season ends tonight.