Russell Westbrook was on the Dan Patrick Show this morning (and you could tell it was the morning) talking about a variety of things, but naturally he was asked about his point guardness. Or point guardability. Whatever you want to call it, Patrick asked Westbrook, “If I was going to introduce you before a game, what position would I say?”
“You’d say at point guard,” Westbrook said. “That’s my natural position. I’ve been playing that all my life. And that’s position I’ve been playing.”
He says he’s been playing it all his life, but I think most would sort of disagree. He played more of a hybrid guard at UCLA next to and behind Darren Collison. I think the general consensus has been that Westbrook’s first real venture into exclusive point guardtivity was his rookie season in the NBA. But I’m not going to quibble with semantics, because he’s a point guard to me and a damn good one at that.
As for if he heard and read all the criticism directed at him: “Not that much at all man. I went out every night and tried to play my game and do what i can do to help my team win or get us to the next round. That’s what my job was.”
Asked as to what inspired all that chatter, Westbrook answered, “You know I really don’t know. That comes along with playing in this league. The good thing about it is was my teammate and my family have my back and we’re winning. That’s all that matters.”
I think it was more of a Freudian slip than Westbrook intentionally saying “teammate” instead of “teammates,” but since we all like to read into every little detail, I think we know who he would be referring to if he intended just “teammate.” KD’s got his back.
And Westbrook’s got his. Patrick asked who the toughest player to guard in the league is and Westbrook quickly popped, “Probably KD in practice.” Then said he thinks KD could score 80 in a game if he wanted to.
Earlier in the show Maurice Jones-Drew was on and said he thought Westbrook could make a “decent” wide receiver in the NFL. Westbrook’s thoughts: “You know I was actually thinking about that. I used to play football. I was pretty good. I think I could make a solid receiver but I think I could make a really nice safety.”
I agree. I’ve always seen Westbrook as a ball-hawking, head-hunting safety. I’ve said before he’s kind of the Ed Reed of the NBA. He waits to pounce in a passing lane and when he gets it, he’s turning it into points immediately on the other end. Westbrook said he thought Ty Lawson and Darren Collison were faster than him, among a lot of other players though. I don’t believe that for a second. Somebody’s just got a case of the humbles.
He wrapped up by saying he wasn’t going to play anywhere overseas but instead just take it easy in Los Angeles. Also, Westbrook’s answer to everything: “Definitely, definitely.”
Here’s a question I’d have for Westbrook though: Why hasn’t he participated in any of the summer league pro-am stuff? He’s been at the Drew League watching James Harden, but hasn’t played. I wonder why? Any thoughts?