13-year NBA veteran Quentin Richardson explains why Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook is his favorite player.
It’s no secret that Houston Rockets All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook plays the game with a constant chip on his shoulder. Russ enjoys terrorizing opponents, defying odds, and proving naysayers wrong.
Russ has faced skepticism and doubt for the duration of his NBA career, and he’s seemingly made it a goal to make his doubters look foolish for underestimating him. Russ has faced doubters since his high school days, as he wasn’t recruited by the basketball factories, such as Kansas, Duke, and North Carolina.
He was largely recruited by mid-majors such as Kent State, San Diego, and Creighton and only landed at UCLA because Jordan Farmar decided to turn pro (which is crazy to even think about). Russ didn’t land much immediate playing time with the Bruins, as he played nine minutes per game, because he was viewed as a reserve for Darren Collison, who was the starting point guard.
Upon entering the NBA Draft, Russ wasn’t exactly heralded, as many questioned the Oklahoma City Thunder when they drafted him with the fourth pick. Russ was an All-Star by his third year in the league, and made eight of nine All-Star teams from that point forward.
Russ also led the league in scoring twice, won the MVP award, led the league in assists in each of his previous two seasons prior to his arrival to the Houston Rockets, and averaged a triple-double from 2016-2019. Russ has been an example the effectiveness of blocking out criticism and continuing to believe in yourself, even if no one else does.
Russ has patented the “WhyNot” phrase and his play has resembled that of someone who remembers all the times he’s been slighted throughout his basketball life. The message has been loud and clear from Russ, which is that he could care less if you don’t like his game or his style of play, he’s going to continue to play his way, which is attacking and ferocious.
This approach has led to praise among many players around the league, such as Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, Devin Booker, Paul George, and De’Aaron Fox. It’s also led to praise from other retired players, such as Quentin Richardson.
Quentin Richardson says Rockets’ Westbrook is his favorite player
Richardson was on the Knuckleheads podcast, which he co-hosts, and stated the below:
“Westbrook is my favorite player, just because of the nastiness, the I don’t care. That man said when I get on the court it’s me against everybody. And then somebody made him clarify, ‘obviously it’s not me against my teammates’.”
Westbrook’s game can certainly be described as nasty, because he’s aiming to posterize and terrorize any defender who happens to be in the way of him and the basket. But another thing that Richardson pointed out was how the Houston Rockets guard is oftentimes misunderstood, as he felt compelled to clarify his comments, although they shouldn’t have been perceived as a jab to his teammates in the slightest.
Russ was simply speaking on the mindset he has whenever he takes the court, which is what’s carried him to this point in his NBA career. Russ went from being viewed as being unable to play point guard to being considered one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.
The only thing missing from his legacy is an NBA championship, and the Houston Rockets are poised to bring one back to Clutch City when the NBA league resumes.