Russell Westbrook has a reputation around the league as an agitator and someone that no superstar wants to play with. Is that really the case, or is their more to the story?
This past week, new Boston Celtic Enes Kanter did an interview with Fox Sports 1’s First Things First. Enes is a former teammate of Russell Westbrook, and it appears, only has the best things to say about him. There are three quotes from the interview that I would like to take a closer look at.
In this interview, Kanter emphasized that Westbrook is a great person off the court, despite being so intense during games.
“You look at him on the court, he’s this mean guy, getting under people’s skin. So focused, he yells and gets techs. But off the court, he’s a totally different guy.”
When Chris Paul was a Houston Rocket, he always seemed to have this calm demeanor to him. Even when he was getting into a scrap with someone, he always appeared to be calm throughout the situation. Take him out of the equation, and insert Mr. Russell Westbrook. One could argue that he is the exact opposite. One could also argue that inserting a hot head next to James Harden is going to go horribly wrong. I beg to differ with anyone that would say this. When you examine Westbrook on the floor, he plays like his hair is on fire, and I LOVE IT. He is not afraid to mix it up with guys, and fears absolutely no one.
In the next quote, Kanter says that Westbrook was very helpful to him, which implies that Westbrook possesses solid leadership skills.
“That’s something I wanted to tell the whole world. He’s actually a really chill dude, a really good dude. He was the one definitely that helped me the most.”
Enes Kanter is someone that I have a lot of respect for, in regards to his personal situation with his home country of Turkey. If he goes out of his way to make sure that everyone knows this about someone like Russ, I’ll take this to the bank. All signs point to the fact that Russ is a great community guy, a good family man, and someone who loves to play the game of basketball. In what world would a fan of the Rockets NOT want a guy like this on our team?
Finally, my favorite quote from the interview and one that will start a bit of controversy.
“Russell Westbrook was the best player I’ve ever played with. He’s not just the best player… he’s the best teammate I’ve had off the court.”
Wow. That is a heavy statement coming from Kanter. When you glance at the Rockets’ current locker room, it appears that a guy like Westbrook is going to fit in just fine. This is a guy that grew up with the team’s best player in James Harden, and considers him a brother and a close friend. If a guy like Enes Kanter says this about Westbrook, how do you think the relationship between he and his new teammates will be? In this writer’s opinion, the sky is the limit.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Weekend, and as always, GO ROCKETS!!!