Those crazy college kids…
(made by Ryan Hurst Designs)
Although it triggered the predictable firestorm, Westbrook deserved to be benched. He was having a bad night and his substitute, Eric Maynor, was giving Brooks quality minutes. TV cameras caught Westbrook yelling at Brooks when he was yanked from the game, offering incontrovertible proof that he didn’t like his coach’s decision. What undoubtedly fueled Westbrook’s fiery response is a sense of entitlement. As one Thunder veteran said, privately, “He thinks he’s better than Kevin Durant.”
Not only that, but Westbrook has the backing of Thunder GM Sam Presti, who made a name for himself with his drafting of Westbrook with the fourth pick in 2008. Presti’s micromanagement behind the scenes has caused some friction between the head of the front office and his coaches, but Brooks didn’t pay any attention to that when he saw that Maynor was his best option to even the series.
This begs the question:
Does this adversely affect the Thunder, or is it a healthy confidence on Westbrook’s part?
I think Westbrook’s position on the floor plays a large role in my answer. The point guard is a facilitator first. Even Derrick Rose looks to get his teammates involved, and when they’re struggling he’ll go for his own. Sometimes his shot is just falling and so he never looks to pass, but he’s capable and tries more often than not to be a creator of shots.
Westbrook is drifting, ever so slightly, into Stephon Marbury territory. I remember watching an early regular season game when Marbury was on Minnesota—at the time Kevin Garnett was so skinny you thought he was a new spokesmen for Broken Promises—and Garnett hit a big shot in overtime. After the shot when down, Marbury sort of wandered back to the bench without congratulating him.
I haven’t seen that with Westbrook so much, but I’ll be looking for it now.
Plus, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant…that has no relevance, but it’s an interesting coincidence.
I’d think I was an asshole, because I’m misunderstood. I’m serious. I’m not out on the court making friends. I’m not out there patting guys on the back. I’m trying to bust yo’ ass, period, point blank. When I hit the floor, I’m a certain kind of way, and I never have any excuses for that.
Kevin Garnett on Kevin Garnett, when asked if he’d like him if he was on the opposing team.
Breaking: Keving Garnett sued for inappropriate nipple touching at Asian basketball camp.