‣ Russell Westbrook is comfortable with not starting for the Clippers and prefers to contribute from the bench, adapting to the strategies of coach Tyronn Lue.
‣ Westbrook’s main goal is to help his team win the NBA championship, and he is willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team.
‣ Despite criticism, Westbrook and James Harden have proven they can play well together, and Westbrook believes fans enjoy watching him play regardless of whether he’s a starter or not.
Russell Westbrook, a seasoned player, no longer minds not starting for the Clippers. He’s content providing from the bench, fitting into whatever game plan coach Tyronn Lue devises. Westbrook’s attitude has earned him the respect of his teammates, even aiding new players like James Harden in adapting to the team’s dynamics.
At the ripe age of 35, Westbrook recently sat down with Sports Illustrated. He didn’t just discuss his current situation in Los Angeles, but also shared some pearls of wisdom from his 17-year-long NBA journey.
He believes his time in the league has taught him the true meaning of sacrifice. Westbrook is ready to put everything on the line for his team, even if it means altering his preferred style of play. His ultimate aim? Helping his team secure an NBA championship.
Westbrook, with years of experience under his belt, feels he can help develop younger players on the roster, like Terance Mann and Kobe Brown. He’s taken the initiative to become a “co-coach” on the floor, instead of merely being a spectator on the bench. He sees himself as a big brother figure, pushing his “siblings” to better their game.
“You can’t just lead when you want to,” he explained. “My duty, ever since I joined the league, is to lead. No matter what’s happening, these guys need to understand the importance of their role. Whenever I get a chance, I try to instill confidence in them, making sure they understand their importance. That’s part of my job.”
The 17-year veteran is no longer concerned about his floor time. This shift in attitude, he believes, showcases a significant level of maturity, something that wasn’t evident during his time with the Lakers. Westbrook believes it’s a sign of self-assuredness to not fuss over his minutes on the floor.
“I understand my worth and my abilities. Regardless of the time I spend on the floor, I know I’m a force of energy. I’ve been blessed with that ability,” he shared.
Despite critics claiming he can’t play alongside James Harden, the duo proved otherwise in a recent win against the Mavericks. Westbrook feels fans enjoy watching him play, whether he’s starting or not.
“I want the people who come to the game, whether I’m on the court for five minutes or 20, to enjoy it. When I’m on the floor, I compete and give everything I have,” the guard expressed. “My duty is to play hard every single night, ensuring the people who come to the game enjoy the time I’m on the floor.”