Russell Westbrook, you are the example of what the fans want to see. You are the last of a dying breed in the NBA. Thank you for playing last night in Orlando. As a Magic season ticket holder and fan of the overall NBA it was a pleasure to see you bring your team that once was down 19-points in the game.
On the hot topic of players resting there are many fans who are deprived from seeing their favorite superstar who is in town for one night only during the NBA season. The Oklahoma City Thunder make one visit to Orlando each year due to be an out-of-conference team. Last night we all knew that Westbrook was going to suit-up barring sudden illness and play like he has all season long. Mr. Triple-Double as they called him, I caught myself looking at his numbers on the board consistently. It’s without shame that I myself was rooting for Westbrook to achieve the triple-double better yet, the entire arena just knew that they were watching a spectacular performance.
Everything seemed so cliché as Westbrook dribbled up the court with less than four minutes remaining in overtime and one assist away from achieving his casual triple-double. He drove to the basket and found backcourt mate, Victor Oladipo for a wide-open three; Thunder up two. In that moment you have to think Russ knows what’s at stake, he knows that he needs one more assist so, let’s find the open man. Again, it just seemed so cliché and natural to happen. The beauty of watching an NBA superstar score 57-point while leading his team to a win in overtime is what makes a fan happy and the investment well spent.
Magic fans are about 12-13 years removed from seeing this a handful of times in a season. Does the name Tracy McGrady ring a bell? No wonder half of the arena turned into Russell Westbrook fans by the time he drew overtime for the Thunder. Think about this, if Russ decided to take the time off for rest last night, this is what you deprived a fan base of: a historic night in which Westbrook becomes the first player to log a triple-double and scoring the most points alongside one.
“That is definitely a blessing,” Westbrook told reporters of his historic night in Orlando, Florida. “I definitely don’t take this game for granted, and I try to come out each night and try to compete at a high level. That is definitely something that is a blessing and definitely something that I can be proud of.”
While science might prove that a little bit of rest can help the longevity of one’s career, the argument of resting while you’re healthy on the fan side will always be, just play. Today, Kevin Durant takes a stab at the issue saying it is for only certain top players so why make a rule that isn’t a league-wide concern? We will all have our own opinions but today is a victory for the fans in which I will personally thank Russell Westbrook.
Baseline Times NBA Contributor