Russell Westbrook has arguably his best chance to win an NBA championship since his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant. Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Lakers to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form the NBA's latest superteam. Westbrook has consistently been one of the best players in the NBA for quite some time, even winning an MVP in 2017.
But he hasn't been able to find success in the playoffs in the last few years, often going out in the first or second round. The last time Westbrook was even able to reach the Conference Finals was in 2016 when he and Kevin Durant blew a 3-1 lead to the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. Durant ended up leaving during the following offseason and joining the Warriors. And since then, Westbrook has struggled in the playoffs. Because of these struggles, Westbrook has, somewhat unfairly, garnered the reputation of a 'loser'.
NBA analyst Chris Broussard spoke on Undisputed about the reputation surrounding Russell Westbrook. He noted that it is ridiculous for Russell Westbrook to have a 'loser' reputation. He doesn't think that reputation is warranted for Westbrook, given how consistent he has been over the years. Westbrook is a former MVP and has reached an NBA Finals at a very young age in his career.
On top of that, Westbrook continues to play at a very high level and show that he can put up ridiculous numbers. Broussard compared him to another great point guard in history - Steve Nash. He noted that Nash had better teams than Westbrook, but Westbrook still was more successful than him. So while Westbrook hasn't won an NBA championship, he isn't a 'loser'.
“If he (Russell Westbrook) wins a championship, and I’m assuming he plays a big role in winning a championship… If they (Los Angeles Lakers) win a championship, and he’s a role player, averaging 13 points a game and not playing as many minutes down the stretch, that doesn’t help him that much. But if he wins the championship as part of a legit big three, and he is valuable and you see his contributions… there can be no detractors.”
“This dude has accomplished everything individually. Got the MVP award, four times averaged a triple-double which no one in the history of basketball has done, 9-time All-NBA. And the winning… I know he hasn’t won a championship. But the notion that he can’t win at all is overstated.”
“He’s been to the NBA Finals, he’s played in four Conference Finals. He has won more than Steve Nash, And Steve Nash had great teams too – Amar’e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion. Westbrook has won more than Nash. So I’m just saying, he is not this loser where there’s no way he can win. He just hasn’t won a championship.”
The struggle over the last few years has led to Westbrook garnering a bad reputation among fans and analysts. Many believe that Westbrook cannot be the number one option on a championship team. Because of this, Westbrook has been dubbed a 'loser', someone who will perenially come close to win an NBA Championship but never actually get to this stage.
This is why many people have criticized the Los Angeles Lakers for making this move, as Westbrook, in their mind, can't win an NBA championship. But Westbrook is still one of the best players in the league and instantly makes the Lakers better next season.