Greatness Awaits

Westbrook-salute By Yusuf Gadlin @ I can sense it. I can feel it. The word that comes to mind is “greatness.” I know greatness–there was Michael Jordan. I’ve seen greatness–there is Kobe Bryant. I currently watch greatness in LeBron James. As for the future I found him–his name is Russell Westbrook. While people are blinded by the mirage of Stephen Curry 3-pointers, I am awed by the emotion Russell displays by playing the game he loves. While people rave on and on about the end-to-end speed of John Wall, I sit back and marvel at the abnormal competitive spirit Russell Westbrook plays with on nightly basis. Or rather its the way he attacks the rim like it assaulted his mother or the way he passionately rallies his teammates to up  their level of play before he strangles them– Russell Westbrook is hell bent on being great. Kobe Bryant sees the greatness. That’ss why the Laker superstar compares himself  to Westbrook in his younger days. “He plays mean, like I did with an aggression,” Kobe told legendary journalist  Ahmad Rashad in a sit down interview with NBA TV recently. kobe-bryant-russell-westbrook This is not the only compliment the five-time champion has thrown in Westbrook’s direction. The other mouth-dropping compliment: “He got  Mamba Blood running threw his veins,” Kobe tweeted to the world March 5, 2013 as the Lakers fell to the Thunder earlier in the day 105-122. I’m guessing that the fact that Westbrook had 37 points 10 rebounds and 5 assist had a lot to do with Kobe’s eye brow raising tweet. You have to give Kobe’s comments substance because you’ve  never known  him to give self comparisons to any of the  current generational players especially because he views this current group of players soft and too sensitive (See Dwight Howard). What makes Russell Westbrook astonishingly intriguing is the fact that he has taken the Oklahoma City Thunder from the face of the franchise which is their beloved MVP Kevin Durant. Durant Russell refuse to believe he is a sidekick or the Robin to Durant’s Batman. As a result it appears Durant has finally submitted to Westbrook will. Can you imagine Kobe submitting to Shaq’s will or vice versa? Not a chance in hell. The all-time greats don’t do it. It’s why Kobe and Shaq deteriorated. Now, I know personal problems also played a roll in their demise but the fact that each one believed so much in themselves as a individual as it pertains to who truly was the Alpha male of those Lakers teams speaks alarming volumes about the current union of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. MVP Durant will likely leave OKC  in 2016. He won’t cite MVP Russell’s will as the reason he leaves. He will never say Westbrook’s stubbornness as the reason he eventually departs. Nor will anyone admit the stone cold truth that Kevin Durant now has a bruised ego.   Is it possible that Kevin  now realizes that Russell is better than him; and, it is he that is Robin after all? One thing is for sure, if his all-time great pairing is torn apart it will be sadder than Shaq and Kobe or Kobe & Shaq (which ever way you prefer to say them.) Before Westbrook eventually goes on that lonely road to greatness with his own team, its only right that he and Kevin Durant win one NBA Championship together. They both know  the writing is on the wall.This Thunder team is not big enough for the both of them. So its win it all now, of course with Russell leading the way.

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