Colin Cowherd talks Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- So Westbrook signed a massive contract with Oklahoma City. Not a shock-- Oklahoma City had lost Harden, had lost KD. They were not letting Westbrook get away. He's the most dynamic player in the NBA. I don't think he's the best, but he's the most dynamic, the most athletic, some would say the most fun to watch.
Listen, if you look at the top players in the NBA right now-- LeBron's played for Cleveland twice and Miami, Kevin Durant's played for two teams, James Harden's played for two teams, Kyrie Irving's now on his second team, Chris Paul's now on his third team, Jimmy Butler's on his second team, Paul George is on his second team, Melo's on his third team. Westbrook, more than any current NBA star, is about one team. He owns that franchise.
Now you could say Kawhi Leonard, but that franchise is about Popovich and the system more than Kawhi Leonard. This is a business decision. Don't kid yourself. This is not about loyalty.
He didn't take a pay cut. This is about business. Is that in a world of constant mobility in the NBA, Westbrook's like, almost gonna stay put. He's hard to play with, so players now will come to him. He doesn't have to go to players.
And I'm never going to criticize a guy-- you know how I've said, I like contrarian thinkers. I think anything that we're holding in our hand-- my iPhone-- was created by somebody that did not toe the company line, somebody that took chances, somebody that evolved and adapted, and went the other way. Every device I have in my hand, every device I watch or use, was created by somebody who went against the grain.
The grain now in the NBA is mobility-- leave, join a team. And Westbrook's-- and his people-- are like, no, let's be the guys that stay here. He's tough to play with anyway. Our GMs and our analytical people can figure out who can play with me.
So I'm happy for him. He's not my favorite player. I do think he's the most dynamic player in the NBA to watch. But listen, Tim Duncan, Dirk, and Kobe-- one team. That business model works too. I am totally for player mobility, but it's not the only business model that works.
We know that San Antonio has a more boring efficient business model. Historically, the Lakers do a lot of free agent business model transactions. There's a lot of different ways to win in sports.
Baltimore Ravens historically have won with defense. The Patriots have won mostly with coaching and quarterback play. The Lakers have won with glamour. The Yankees have one with free agents.
The St. Louis Cardinals have won through their minor league system. We saw the Royals two years ago win a World Series threw a bullpen. There's a lot of different ways to do things.
Now there are those ways that I really prefer, but, for Westbrook, in a world that's moving, he's staying put. I don't have a problem with that. And I'll say this, considering the market he's in-- which is, it's fair to say, it's one of the least glamorous markets in the NBA. I mean, LA is a glamour market. Boston's a glamour market-- New York, Chicago.
Could I not argue this? If you're Oklahoma City, and you know that you're not a glamorous market. You just now secured the most glamorous player.
So from OKC's perspective, hey man, we're always going to fight this stigma that stars don't want to play here. Let's just ensure that we have maybe the most dynamic star. We'll worry about the finances later. We'll worry about that stuff later. We're not letting this dude go.