It’s been almost a month since the Oklahoma Thunder’s most recent playoff exit in the NBA has come to an end. As usual, before the start of the regular season, the team was given the status as one of the strongest teams in the West, along with Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. The Thunder had added both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to go along with MVP Russell Westbrook, who hails from California’s Leuzinger High of Lawndale.
The result of this story you know yourself. Oklahoma lost in the first round of this year’s conference playoffs, losing to ambitious Utah even though the Jazz were seemingly hindered by an injury to point guard Ricky Rubio.
But we will not tell the story of the Thunder, for the simple reason that it was done before us by a huge number of people in various thematic blogs. Charges flew to general manager Sam Presti, head coach Billy Donovan, and into the players, in the absence of depth of composition. But today we will talk about Westbrook and why he may have a tough time becoming a champion.
But first, let’s get back to the basics. Over the past eight years, along with Westbrook, the following players have played with him: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Victor Oladipo, George and Anthony. During this time, the team was able only once to reach the coveted final (in which it lost to the Miami Heat). Fans of the Thunder were happy, except for the constantly overstated expectations from the team in the off-season as well as with MVP Westbrook.
What happened to all these players after leaving?
– Durant became a champion for the Warriors and finally learned what a real team is.
– Harden became the leader of Houston, the best-attacking defender in the league, a permanent MVP candidate (which he will safely pick up this year) and a contender for the championship (which isn’t going to happen this year but took a Game 7 loss to the Warriors in the conference finals).
– Oladipo became the main star of Indiana. He is the most progressive player of this season, who will continue to progress to the next.
– For George and Anthony, it’s still unknown what to expect. But something tells us that their next season will be much better than a single season in OKC (in case they both leave the team).
Westbrook also received an MVP honor, became a triple-double machine and the object of universal love, but is all of that only for the lovers of statistics? Is there something about his game that hinders team play?
There’s no doubt that Russell is perhaps the most athletic point guard who has ever come out on the floor. He has all the qualities in order to remain a dominant player for a long time.
However, the situation of Westbrook after this season has become even sadder than it could be imagined by fans before it began. Judge for yourself, after such a failure, will there be other quality players from around the league who will want to go to OKC and to Westbrook.
It could be the only way to transfer another star to Oklahoma would be for Westbrook to have a truly “team” season. Whatever happens and wherever some of the NBA’s top free agents land for the 2018-19 season, it will definitely make more Oklahoma fans and fans everywhere watch live basketball scores.