Colin Cowherd unveils how Westbrook’s poor leadership will derail the Thunder from winning the West
Reflecting on the Cleveland Cavaliers defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, Colin Cowherd reveals how Russell Westbrook's inability to play with other star athletes like James Harden and Kevin Durant will negatively impact OKC's ability to compete for a championship with their revamped team of Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
- Last night-- you know, LeBron gets all these new teammates-- and so last night, I go to dinner with my wife. And all of a sudden, I go to dinner and I'm like, oh, I forget, the Cavs are playing OKC. So I sit there and I watch the last hour and a half of it. And Cleveland is fantastic with all these new players. And Oklahoma City, it's interesting juxtaposed why can't they figure it out?
Now, this is amazing. This is what makes LeBron great. So you give LeBron four new players. And by the way, they're not great players. They're good players. Jordan Clarkson's a good player, B-minus, C-plus NBA player. Rodney Hood's a good B player in the NBA, B to B-minus, but a good player. You know, George Hill's a B player in the NBA.
So you've given-- you've given him-- and Larry Nance, Jr. is probably a C, C-plus player in the NBA. So you give LeBron these average guys. They go to Boston and to Oklahoma City, blow out win, dominating win. LeBron, 2 and 0, immediately adapts. Now, think about that.
Now, Russell Westbrook, you give him, not only new teammates, but excellent teammates. He still can't figure it out. They add Carmelo, who's going to be a Hall of Famer. They add Paul George, who's an All-Star. And they're one game worse than last year.
I mean, this is what I say about Westbrook. It is amazing the NBA media just fawns over Russell Westbrook. And I've been saying it for years. He's a stat monster. He goes into tunnel vision mode in crisis. And he doesn't play well with others. Why? Because he's strange.
We all had that guy in our high school. We all have that guy in our neighborhood. He's not a bad guy. He's not a dumb guy. He's not a terrible guy. He's a strange guy. I've lived next to strange guy. I lived next to one in Portland. I live next to one in Connecticut. I don't talk to my neighbors in LA. I'm sure there was a strange one.
But I'm watching last night, and since Westbrook-- and I think Westbrook's just a strange dude. And I think everybody that leaves him gets better. Victor Oladipo, good player, leaves, All-Star. Kevin Durant leaves him, more efficient. James Harden leaves him, going to be the MVP of the league. Sabonis leaves him, goes to Indianapolis, all his numbers double.
Westbrook's strange. He's odd. He's a little weird. And he doesn't play well with others. He still can't figure this thing out. That's with Paul George. I mean, he's got real players around him.
Steven Adams is, like, a 16-10 guy. He's a beast. He's a beast. Melo's going to be a Hall of Famer. Paul George is an All-Star. Russell Westbrook's an MVP. And they're a game worse than last year.
LeBron gets four average guys, B-minus, C guys, and they go into OKC and dominate 'em. I mean, they were in total control. And even Oklahoma City in January, they lost three straight. They won eight straight. They lost four straight. And they lose regularly to bad teams.
And again, I'll go to this. Westbrook's not overly verbal. He doesn't adapt particularly well because he's rigid. You know, it's all the things we've worked with somebody like this. They're not real great at communicating. They're kind of rigid. They're kind of stuck in their ways. They're smart as hell and really talented, but they're odd. And they don't work well with others.
And it's funny because Chris Paul and James Harden, I predicted, they were going to be a home run. They're 27 and 1 together. They were great together the first day. Why? Because they're verbal. They're communicators. And they're not odd.
By the way, Kyrie in Boston-- Kyrie goes to Boston, all that-- all that new stuff's worked immediately. LeBron gets new guys, instantly works. Westbrook still can't figure it out because strange guy can't. He's hard to play with. And he's got good players around him. And they are 32 to 26.
I mean, this is what I always say about Westbrook. And you know what interesting about Westbrook? He's the car alarm of the NBA. You ever notice this with car alarms? You'd think they'd work, right? Oh, my car is getting broken into. There's a loud siren. That makes sense. That's a good business.
But have you ever once in your life heard a car alarm and thought, ooh, somebody's car is being robbed? Ooh, uh-oh, we got a burglar in the-- you've never once thought that. You know what you thought? Oh, somebody sat on their keys. Oh, crap. Somebody's car alarm went off, that poor guy, that poor woman.
You've never once heard a car alarm, grab your phone, and dialed 911. I got to make sure we catch the robber. You've never done that. Yet, you're absolutely sure you can't live without the car alarm. You go out and buy a new car, you want it with or without a car alarm? Oh, with, with! Got to have it. I can't live without the car alarm. There's burglars everywhere. There's car thieves in every neighborhood in America.
But they're a huge annoyance, especially if they go off at night or you're at work and yours goes off. Did your ever-- has your car alarm ever gone off, you go outside, and there's a note on your windshield-- hey, jerk, fix your car alarm. You kept us up at night. The car alarm's completely overrated, but America's absolutely sure they can't live without it.
That's Westbrook-- doesn't play with others, won't recruit stars, doesn't adapt to change, totally rigid, I think, kind of hard to coach, max salary, but everybody's sure. Oh, Oklahoma City can't live without him.
It just one of those things that we think we need you don't really need. Everybody that leaves Westbrook is a better player or a more efficient player without him.
He's the car alarm of the NBA. Oh, I don't know how you live without it. Burglars everywhere. How do you live without Westbrook, MVP, gets 9 and 1/2 rebounds at the guard? All these new teams-- Kyrie with a bunch of new guys, instantly great. LeBron, new guys, instantly great. Chris Paul, Harden, instantly great. Westbrook, he's had all these good players, he can't work with any of 'em.
He can't-- Oladipo's now an All-Star. Sabonis goes. Sabonis has doubled his numbers. Harden's the MVP. Kevin Durant's happier and more efficient. Stop pandering to Westbrook. He's wildly overhyped. He's a stat monster who's an odd personality, kind of a strange dude, that people don't like playing with, and he's tunnel vision and rigid.