The NBA season is now over for Russell Westbrook, but the current league Most Valuable Player has been in everybody’s mouth since the playoffs started and more when he was eliminated by Damian Lillard and his Portland Trail Blazers. Russ has received quite a lot of criticism from everybody seeing his struggles to lead his Thunder past the first round of the postseason, earning more and more bad comments towards his game.
Isiah Thomas has made sure to make bold statements in recent hours and he didn’t hesitate to show his opinion about Westbrook as well, talking of how good he can be. Thomas joined ESPN’s First Take to discuss Russell’s game and what his peak really is. For Thomas, Westbrook is an MVP, but nothing more.
He was asked whether Westbrook was a “championship player” and replied: “Clearly he’s not because he hasn’t won one yet. And I will put him and Harden in the same category.”
“He’s an MVP and has played at an MVP level, but when both of them have gotten to the playoffs and is time to win basketball games and advance to the next level and keep advancing they haven’t done that and in order to become champions in this league, you know... Durant, left OKC and he went to Golden State and now he’s a champion. Steph Curry’s a champion, Klay Thompson is a champion, LeBron James...
At the end of the day you have to become a champion and if you carry the MVP Banner in this league, you got to become a champion. We would not be arguing about Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar being the greatest players ever if they didn’t have championship rings on.”
It is well known that Russell Westbrook has mightily struggled to succeed with the Thunder after Kevin Durant left the team and that doesn’t seem to be changing in the near future. Westbrook’s decision making is one of the worst in the league, especially when he’s in clutch time; he now is considered a regular-season guy that disappears every time playoffs get close.
Perhaps gathering more talent around him won’t solve the problem as Westbrook doesn’t seem like the leader his team needs. Even when he won the MVP he wasn’t able to get past the first round of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz led by rookie Donovan Mitchell. Sometimes is not a shock to see fans and players calling Russ overrated.