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It’s time to end the MVP talk and appreciate what we have just witnessed. Russell Westbrook has put up the single greatest individual season in NBA history. A season which was better than any of Michael, Kobe or LeBron’s best years. A season which can’t even be replicated in a video game. Seriously. These are things that people used to joke about, as if they were humanly impossible. Who would’ve ever thought a 6-foot-3 point guard would average a monstrous triple-double and lead the league in scoring at the same dame time.
After losing his partner in crime to the Warriors after their best season together, Westbrook’s image and playing style was under serious question. He responded with a rage and destruction that we have never seen before. The last time a player single-handedly put a team on his back like this was A.I. in 2001. Though it’ll be hard for Brodie to take the Thunder all the way to the NBA Finals in the new super-team age and this mighty Western Conference, to have them flirting with 50 wins in a season in which they were probably only supposed to win 30, at best, is just incredible.
As great and as valuable as James Harden has been, it would be an absolute crime to not give the MVP to a guy who averaged 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists a night, without missing a single-game all year.
To do what Westbrook has done in the most athletic and advanced era of sport, is simply incredible. The numbers he is putting up and the performances he’s had would be even scarier 15-20 years ago. Players are much quicker, stronger and explosive now than ever. So every move Westbrook is making is actually being guarded or contained by longer, faster and stronger players. The game moves much faster than it did in Magic or Jordan’s era. It even moves much faster than it did in Kobe’s era. Today’s players jump and move much quicker than ever, which makes it a lot tougher to not only get to the rim and score, but to rebound as well.
Really, Westbrook is actually the only one who could have averaged a triple-double. He is a product of a God-given gift, combined with smart and hard ass work. No man in the history of this league has been as explosive. He is two-steps ahead in an era which is three steps ahead of Jordan’s, from an athletic standpoint. Think about that. His energy levels and speed is literally cartoonish. Dominating the league today is much harder than it once was. Any legitimate strength & conditioning coach in the NBA will tell you this, because they know how freakishly athletic their league has become. The players may be friendlier now, but the level of talent is at an all-time high, and it’s deep. Westbrook is at the top of that league right now and he is dominating it in savage fashion.
This guy has set the standard and raised the bar so high. No matter what numbers a player puts up again, will we ever be as amazed as we were now? Who will ever record more than 40 triple-doubles again? Who will ever do it while averaging over 30 a night? There’s only one player physically fit to do so and that is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks. But even he has years to go before we can even think about him doing it the way and level that Russ has done it at. This guy has changed the game. In a season in which Klay Thompson scored 60 points in 29 minutes and 20-year-old Devin Booker scored 70 points, we will remember what Russ did the most. A 40-point triple-double may have just become more cool than a 60 point performance, thanks to Russ. These games below are just SOME of his most ridiculous performances of the year.
There’s no denying that Russ plays better and more like himself when he has to carry the load on his own, but if the Thunder can get the right second guy with him, he’s in line to win more MVP’s. But, this year, it should be unanimous. Anything less would be disrespectful. Whenever someone does something that we didn’t think was humanly possible, and does it better than we had ever imagined, it’s a no brainer. Back when there used to be talk of LeBron James one day averaging a triple-double, it was of the thought that he would go out and put up 18, 11 and 10 one day, not 32, 11 and 10. We didn’t even think the body could withstand so much, and now Westbrook has defied that too.
Over the past two weeks, Russ put a stamp on his MVP case. He deserves for this race to end now. It’s over. He was on a mission, and he’s accomplished it. He wanted to prove people wrong and he knew by winning the most prestigious individual award in NBA history, he would do it. But, throughout the whole storm, he was extremely humble and passionate about it. You saw it at the end of the Bucks game in which he tied Oscar Robertson for the most triple-doubles ever, dude couldn’t help but smile. With this season alone, Russell Westbrook is already one of the five greatest point guards of all-time, and now the most dominant of his era. There aren’t five players with the letters PG next to them in the history of this game that you can honestly say are better than him. If you put this guy in any of the previous era’s, he’d get better and in head-to-head match ups, he’d eat everyone. If Westbrook puts up even close to these numbers for the next few years, and finds a way to get a title or two along the way, he’ll be in the conversation for greatest PG, ever. But eye-test wise, he’s already the most unstoppable force we’ve seen at that position.