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Stephen A. Smith: "I Just Don't Know 10 Players On The Planet That Are Better Than Russell Westbrook."

(via ABC13 Houston)

(via ABC13 Houston)

Russell Westbrook has a lot of flaws, especially on the offensive end. But for many, his skill, play style, and energy on the basketball court are enough to have him high on today's list of top players.

Nevertheless, it was a topic of much debate on ESPN's First Take Thursday morning.

After Westbrook was ranked 12th on First Take's primetime player's list, Stephen A. Smith came to his defense with an energetic, and unapologetic, rant.

For context, these comments came after it was revealed that max Kellerman left Westbrook off his top 10 players list.

Clearly, Max is outnumbered here. Both Smith and Perkins were appalled that Russ wasn't ranked within Kellerman's top 5. But should he be?

To Westbrook's credit, he's averaged a triple-double in three of the last four seasons and is an unstoppable force when he attacks the basket. Very few players in the league can slow him down when he's running towards the rim.

But because of his streaky jump shooting and questionable basketball IQ, he draws a lot of criticism. Over the course of his 12-year career, he's only been to the Finals once.

Whether that's a testament to his playstyle or the teams he's had around him will likely depend on who you ask.