LOSER? RUSSELL WESTBROOK JUST CAN’T HELP HIMSELF
So you may have gleaned from the title that this piece will be somewhat critical of the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But no, it’s not a hate piece. It’s what should be simply a testament to the obvious. Russell Westbrook is his own worst enemy when it comes to winning when it really counts. So let’s be clear. If you are shaking your head, you either didn’t see Portland eliminate the Thunder a few days ago, or you are a fan in denial. But if you are the latter, maybe move to NYC and learn denial from the real pros: Knicks fans. They know what it’s like to back a loser.
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LARRY BIRD KNEW YEARS AGO THAT SOME GUYS CAN’T PLAY IN THE 4TH QUARTER
So what made me decide to focus on this? Two things, really. So first, I happened to do some nostalgia watching of Larry Bird videos this week. But in one of them, Bird sits in an interview with his hair cut short. But it’s right before his back and body broke on him. He makes a point of sounding like a hick. But he also makes it clear that he’s one of two types of players. He said Some players score really well in the first three quarters of a game. But then you have others who score and make plays when it counts; that’s right, the 4th quarter. So Russell is the former, a loser, Bird and Damian Lillard are the latter.
BIRD WAS AFRAID BEFORE GAMES BUT FINE IN ACTION, MAYBE RUSSELL NEEDS TO LEARN FEAR
But then I watched Bird in an interview with his former teammate, Kevin McHale. They’re old and crotchety and missing their playing days even as they appreciate still being connected to the game. That’s when Bird said he was totally scared before every single game. But then when he got on the court, it simply disappeared. He said he didn’t know why that was. But that he was lucky. It brought a huge new dimension of understanding Larry Bird the player and the man. But then I heard that Westbrook didn’t care about anything his critics said about him after his team lost in dramatic fashion to a dagger delivered at the buzzer by Lillard.
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RUSSELL MATURED LAST YEAR, WENT RIGHT BACK TO CHILDISH “LEADERSHIP” IN ROUND ONE
So I thought, how to connect Larry Bird (and his brutal take-no-prisoners era) to what’s happened with Westbrook? And another thing I should add is that I first thought that Russell would never win. But then I thought he matured and learned how to do different things on the court to win. But then this current Russell acted like a spoiled rookie all over again. He showboated. But he also talked stupid trash. But you don’t win games trying to “beat” the other team’s point guard. Bird always went for the jugular. He would make it personal only if it was on the way to the win.
DAMIAN LILLARD DESTROYS WESTBROOK, TALKS WITH HIS PLAY AND LEAVES LIKE A LEADER SHOULD
And then I realized what may be the problem. Russell Westbrook isn’t afraid before the game. He’s afraid after the game. So that’s maybe why he has such a problem with the media. He’s a huge talent with Little Man’s disease. Lillard, for his part, sold 6,000 pairs of his signature shoes the day after he showed everyone how winning is done. Cold and quiet. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if Russell learns anything, yet again, this offseason. If he doesn’t, he’ll remain a loser in the end.