Ever heard of those basketball players that came out of nowhere and exploded at the right time? Well…Russell Westbrook!
The staff of Lake Show Life realize that the Russell Westbrook stans are on edge after the first page, so we will make this clear that this is not “slander” or “hate”. Everyone that has played in a college basketball program can play. Russell Westbrook had talent when he came into UCLA, but no one (Even the Bruins program!) knew of the diamond in the rough they were getting in Russ.
Westbrook came in as the backup to Darren Collison (Yes the guy the Lakers brought in on a 10-day contract and released. Small world huh?) and was used as a defender and energy player off the bench. In other words, he was not Stephon Marbury or Allen Iverson as his freshman averages of 3.4 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists would indicate.
This role probably would have continued for Russ if Collison didn’t get injured and he didn’t inherit the starting point guard spot. He took advantage of his opportunities finishing the season averaging 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals. He was named to the All-Pac-10 Third Team and took home the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award.
What was huge for Westbrook was the fact that UCLA advanced to the Final Four in both of Westbrook’s seasons with the team. March Madness is the time to shine and make a name for potential scouts for NBA teams. Plus all eyes in sports (More than the NBA at the time!) are focused on this basketball extravaganza. Russ used his time wisely and left after his second year.
Now looking at the college statistics, Russ did not look good on paper, but taking a closer look at the highlights shows the passion and the motor that he has a reputation for today. He used that quality to get drafted in the lottery by the Seattle Supersonics one week before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City.
He then teamed up with the previous lottery pick from Seattle by the name of Kevin Durant. Even though the two had success in OKC. This was where the media got behind the Westbrook legend despite the obvious flaws Los Angeles Lakers fans see today.
Read on to see what Lake Show Life is talking about…