Russell Westbrook ‘done’ getting technical fouls, but KD disagrees
When asked recently if there was ever a good time to get a technical foul, Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook had a rather straightforward answer.
"No," Westbrook told The Daily Oklahoman.
The logic is simple: Calls are rarely overturned or reversed, so there’s no point in arguing, getting on the referee’s bad side and potentially costing your team points (not to mention the hit a player’s wallet takes).
But Westbrook — who arguably plays with as much ferocity and energy as any player in NBA history — hasn’t always been able to keep that in perspective.
Throughout his eight seasons in the league, Westbrook has amassed 71 technicals (an average of 8.9 per season). He already has four technical fouls in 31 games this season, meaning he’s on pace for about 10 or 11 technicals this season, which will boost his average to around 9.6 per season.
Still, Westbrook claims he’s a different man now after watching film this offseason and re-evaluating his approach. He says he’s "done with those days."
"I learned in the summer time, once they make a call, they ain’t changing it," Westbrook said. "It took awhile, but I learned it. I watched all my film, all my techs, all the dumb **** I was doing. I decided to tell myself there’s no reason to argue, so move on."
Except Westbrook hasn’t moved on. His four technicals place him in a tie for ninth-most in the league, and it wasn’t too long ago that Westbrook was almost suspended for his 16th technical at the end of last season before it was rescinded.
Even one of his teammates doesn’t believe him … yet.
"Hell no (he’s not done getting them)," Kevin Durant said. "We’ll see. Hopefully he doesn’t get them, but I don’t buy that."
Yelling and screaming at the refs is part of Westbrook’s persona. It’s his schtick. He’s not out there to make friends with anyone — sometimes not even his teammates. He’s vicious, and that’s part of what makes him great.
It’s difficult to imagine him calming down and not overreacting to certain foul calls or non-calls, but as Durant said, we shall see.