Russell Westbrook Took Responsibility For The Thunder's Game 3 Loss And Lost My Respect In The Process
YardBarker- “It’s frustrating. But it’s my man. It’s my fault,” he told Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. “I gotta be able to get back and match up. Especially when he’s wide open like that. Especially with the game on the line.”
Westbrook had an incredibly rough night, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Slater shared several more clips that show him loafing on defense and losing track of his man. He also turned the ball over five times and took a whopping 31 shots, converting less than 33 percent of them.
“Too many shots. I think honestly I gotta do a better job, like I said before, of getting guys good shots,” Westbrook said. “Steven (Adams) got one shot. I gotta get other guys involved to beat this team. Even though I had some shots I make, I gotta read and find ways to get guys good shots. I’ll take the blame.”
Russell Westbrook fits into a very exclusive category for me. He's managed to become someone that I find to be insufferable before and after the whistle, yet incredibly entertaining in between them. I appreciate his 'pedal to the medal', 'take no prisoners' approach to the game, but his pregame recitals and postgame whining have turned me off to him as a person. Usually that would make me think less of him as a player, but the disparity in his likability on and off the court is actually quite remarkable.
That's why I can't have him taking blame for something that was so obviously his fault. Taking responsibility for his mistakes would be commendable if he hadn't spent the majority of his career ignoring his flaws. People have always criticized Westbrook for shooting too much and defending too little, yet he has always brushed that criticism off with reactions to the media that oft-resemble the picture that accompanies this blog. In fact, his only redeemable quality off the court has been his consistency in not giving a fuck.
He jeopardized that entire reputation by pointing the finger at himself after clearly costing his team the game. It's easy to be a disingenuous dickhead with the media when you're racking up triple doubles and you're a consensus top 10 player in the league. It's not so easy when you leave a good shooter with championship mettle WIDE OPEN for a game deciding jumper in a pivotal playoff game. If Russell Westbrook wants to be a catty little bitch every time a reporter questions his performance then he shouldn't only be doing so during the good times. You want to be the person that turns your nose up at the media? You damn well better do so when you toss up 31 shots - with a success rate that makes Kobe's farewell game look efficient - and show a defensive awareness that would make Kevin Love yell at his television. If Russell Westbrook wants to gain back my respect then he better be the same combative toddler that he's always been when they inevitably fall to San Antonio in 6.