Russell Westbrook is Finding Out What Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant Did: Without Help, You're Not Winning a Title

Apr 6, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) argues with a referee against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Thunder 122-115. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is Finding Out What Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant Did: Without Help, You're Not Winning a Title

NBA

Russell Westbrook is Finding Out What Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant Did: Without Help, You're Not Winning a Title

The Warriors have trounced the Thunder three times this season: By 26 in November, then 21 in January, and 16 Saturday night. Only delusional fans would say the return of 6th man Enes Kanter might have a significant impact on the most recent outcome. If the teams meet in the NBA playoffs (pretty please?), and both teams are fully healthy, the Warriors should sweep them.

Feb 11, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Andre Roberson (21) have to be separated and are both called for technical fouls during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The reality: The NBA, for about eight years now, has been all about Super Teams. The Super Team Celtics (two finals trips). The Super Team Heat (four straight Finals appearances). The Super Team Cavaliers (two straight finals trips). And now, the Super Team Warriors.

This is why everyone thought Russell Westbrook was going to demand a trade in the days after Kevin Durant left. Super Teams have dominated despite the best efforts of the NBA to inject socialism into the league. It’s clear Westbrook made a mistake staying.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 11: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives around Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of a NBA game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on February 11, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Westbrook is an immense talent, the most athletic point guard in NBA history. But he’s hard-headed to a fault. He really thinks he can do it all by himself. He should go ask Dominique Wilkins and Allen Iverson and Charles Barkley how that worked out for them.

Answer: It didn’t. Wilkins was one of the NBA’s best players for about an 8-year stretch (1985-1993), but never reached the conference finals. Iverson made the finals once, an improbable run that was as impressive as young LeBron dragging Larry Hughes and spare parts to the Finals in 2007. Barkley had to force his way out of Philadelphia to get to the Finals (and when he lost in Phoenix, he made them trade him, this time to Houston).

CLEVELAND - MAY 29: Larry Hughes #32 and Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers slap hands before taking on the Detroit Pistons in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs on May 29, 2007 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

For 30+ years now, there’s been one truism in the NBA: You can’t win a title by yourself. It is impossible. Ask Kobe Bryant, who forced Shaq out of LA, thinking he could do it himself. He couldn’t get out of the 1st round of the playoffs. The Lakers heisted Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies. Presto! They were back in the Finals.

Westbrook hopefully had an A HA! moment Saturday night, while talking trash to Kevin Durant: “I’m coming!”

No, he wasn’t. The Thunder never cut the deficit to single digits. Westbrook had 11 turnovers and worst yet, as soon as Durant began guarding Westbrook, the point guard made it personal, abandoning the offense and going at Durant. That’s selfish, amateur hour stuff.

Hopefully Westbrook realizes it this offseason, and the Thunder make moves to bring in another superstar. Because otherwise, Westbrook can rack up all the triple doubles he wants, he’s never going to sniff the NBA Finals again.

Latest Leads

More NBA
Home