Russell Westbrook: Explosive, Enigmatic, Exuberant.

Let’s all take a minute to appreciate the greatness of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook receives more criticism than praise and that’s truly unfair for a player of his caliber.

“He shoots too much. He turns the ball over too much. He chases triple-doubles. He caused Kevin Durant to leave. He’s too arrogant.”

Let’s talk about Westbrook’s heart and passion for the game of basketball. Let’s talk about him going out there every night and leaving it all on the line. Let’s talk about him become the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season.

When I look at Russell Westbrook, I see a warrior always prepared for battle. A leader who takes charge. A relentless and fierce competitor that never gives in. A superstar who is misunderstood and oftentimes taken for granted.

Everything about Russell Westbrook is different. The way he plays. The way he dresses. The way he carries himself and doesn’t care what others think of him. In so many ways Westbrook reminds me of Allen Iverson. That once in a generation, enigmatic superstar who shifted the paradigm and culture of the NBA. Both players are not afraid to be themselves, and that should be celebrated, not chastised.

Don’t get me wrong, Westbrook has flaws in his game just like every other player. There are times when he tries too hard to take over games, instead of trusting his teammates. There are times when he chooses to ignore the simple play for a highlight play.

Whether you love or hate Westbrook, you have to respect what he accomplished this season. Becoming the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. Recording the most triple-doubles in a single season in NBA history. Securing the most 50 point triple-doubles in NBA history. Not to mention he guided the Thunder back to the playoffs, and the number 6th seed in the west, after losing one of the three best players in the world in Kevin Durant.

To know Russell Westbrook is to love Russell Westbrook. Knowing him means accepting and appreciating him for who he is. He may not be the superstar everyone wants, but he is the superstar we all need.

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