I wrote about the wild Monday night in the NBA earlier today if you missed it, but all you need to know about Russell Westbrook’s response above is that there’s no way the Thunder can make the playoffs unless the Spurs win their final game. And yet, Russ still can’t bring himself to admit that he’s going to be rooting for the Spurs for one day.
Of course, Westbrook’s mindset should, and will be, focused on winning OKC’s game against the Timberwolves on Wednesday — the Thunder need to win their final game to even have a shot at the postseason. But there’s not a chance that he won’t be scoreboard watching with some severe rooting interests. It’s only natural. All the Thunder fans will be. All his teammates and coaches will be. The rest of the basketball world will be.
Comments like these are why Kobe Bryant claims Westbrook as one of his favorite players, and the player he sees the most of himself in — as he did in an interview for NBA TV at the All-Star break. They are both ultimate competitors. Kobe recalls playing against Westbrook when he was just a high school student, mostly because he remembers how fearless the youngster was. Fast forward to present day, and we can see why Westbrook caught the Mamba’s eye.
Both players have their competitive drive to thank just as much as their skills for all of their success. They can also thank that drive for making them look a little foolish in moments like this. Reporters know what Westbrook means. Of course he’s not a Spurs fan. But Westbrook also knows exactly why the question was framed that way. He needs help to get his team into the postseason and is too stubborn to admit it.
Westbrook is going to control what he can control, likely by shredding the Wolves for a triple-double (or close to it) on Wednesday. But if he’s the competitor that we all think he is, then he wants a shot at the Warriors in the first-round of the playoffs. The only way to achieve that is by being a Spurs fan for a night, Russ. We see your hat, but just swallow your pride and admit it.
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