Is Westbrook the Next Michael Jordan?
Yes, we know what your thinking, that this type of talk is almost blasphemous but just hear us out. In Game 5 of the Western Conference first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Houston Rockets eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a 105-99 victory and praised their defensive effort as a main component of their series win. But Russell Westbrook had 47 points. Similar to the Game 2 performance of Michael Jordan vs the Celtics in 1986 where he had 63 and the Bulls still lost and were eventually swept. Great individual performance by both but the question is hoe to translate that into wins.
Jordan had to develop the mentality that he could trust his teammates as much as he trust himself. That mentality was devloped over time, sweeps, early exits out the playoffs and a change of coaches. Westbrook, unlike Jordan did have a superstar counterpart in Kevin Durant. Durant left and one question is "Did he leave because of Russell?" One thing that's for sure is that Westbrook does have the drive to win like Jordan. Jordan didn't have Durant but he had Scottie Pippen, but not until really 1989. Westbrook HAD Durant, but Durant isn't anyone's second fiddle. So were does that leave us? In an area where Russell can take on whatever change Michael did from 1986-1990 and win championships thereafter or be a great Hall of Fame talent without any rings. Its up to the Thunder front office to put support around him but its up to Westbrook to trust and believe in the support around him.