“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau
Russell Westbrook is the glitch in the NBA matrix.
In the NBA, efficiency is king and that just isn’t Russell Westbrook. Don’t believe me? Search “Russell Westbrook” in your Twitter and an avalanche of tweets about how Westbrook can’t shoot or doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation of efficient elite guards like Steph Curry, Chris Paul, or Damian Lillard will fill up your screen. Westbrook dances to a different genre of music than anyone else.
“To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings
On Tuesday Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s 47-year record of 181 career triple-doubles with 182. He broke the record by recording a stat line of 28-13-21 against the Atlanta Hawks in a game which the Westbrook-led Washington Wizards fell 125-124. It’s a record that many thought would be impossible to break. All-time greats such as Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, and LeBron James left congratulation messages in a video package for Westbrook.
“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.” – Albert Einstein
Out of all the praise and acknowledgment that Westbrook received on Tuesday, it was Hall of Fame point guard Isaiah Thomas who put into context what Westbrook had truly accomplished on that historic night.
“What Westbrook has done tonight is that you cannot write the basketball story the full story without mentioning his name and that every NBA player when you come in you want to leave your mark on the game, and he has done that he has left his mark on the game where you cannot tell the full basketball story without mentioning Russell Westbrook’s name and that’s a huge accomplishment and achievement for an individual.”
Basketball’s great outlier is on the last chapters of his historical career with only one box left to tick. A championship. It’s a finale one of the NBA’s most polarizing figures has truly earned, not deserved because no one deserves anything but earned? Certainly that. There isn’t a human being dead or alive that has seen Russell Westbrook play even a second of basketball from high school to the NBA finals that can say this mercurial athlete cheated them.
You will never forget Russell Westbrook’s name. You will never forget the way Russell Westbrook played the game of basketball. Championship or not when his story finally ends, Russell Westbrook will live forever in the lore of basketball. For a man that hasn’t been guaranteed anything when it comes to the game of basketball, that’s a pretty special thing to have if you ask me.