3 takeaways from Rockets’ Harden/Russ GQ interview

Houston Rockets James Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

2. Russ is immensely misunderstood

Russell Westbrook plays with a hard-charging style, as he doesn’t back down from anyone. He has a take-no-prisoner approach to the game and doesn’t back down from anyone. A recent example of this was when the Houston Rockets faced off against the Utah Jazz, which matched Rudy Gobert against Westbrook.

Westbrook went right at the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and finished with 39 points on 54.5 percent from the floor. After the game he was asked about his approach towards being matched up against a big man like Gobert and he simply said his approach was to go right through Gobert’s chest.

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This is the type of tenacity and competitive drive we’ve seen from Westbrook throughout his career, even before he joined the Houston Rockets. Unfortunately many people see the player Russ is on the court and mistake him for an unapproachable player off the court.

This is simply not true, as we’ve seen him create the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech program, which is a program geared towards providing at-risk inner-city youths with literacy skills and opportunities which would set them up for job opportunities down the line.

We’ve also seen Westbrook give back during Thanksgiving in both his hometown of Los Angeles and in Houston, which is further proof of how he’s misunderstood. Harden spoke about this during the interview, when he was asked about the biggest misconception about Russ.

“Um, that he’s crazy. I think people just see the passion that he plays with on the court and then think that that’s who he is off the court as well. But he’s a pretty chill, cool guy. He’s very family-oriented and has a tight group of friends that he’s known since high school. He don’t do all the extra nonsense. I think that’s why we relate so much.”

Westbrook shared his two cents on the level of misunderstanding surrounding him off the court, and ultimately shared that he’s not bothered by it.

“I always give the example: When you go to work, you’re in a different mode, right? Doesn’t mean that’s how I am all the time. You can’t assume that I’m this intense guy. But it doesn’t bother me, because I know who I am.”

The Brodie even spoke about being humbled by fashion designers simply not knowing who he is (imagine that) and elaborated about how he loves not being “the one.” This was a side that was really interesting to hear him address, because we rarely see Westbrook speak on such a thing.

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