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So How Come Westbrook Doesn’t Get A Trophy For This?

  • Rick Chandler

Russell Westbrook is your NBA Regular Season MVP, and that’s swell, I suppose. Really I don’t know what to think about it — for personal context I direct you to my favorite film, Casablanca:

Because can you call me a “hater” if I really just don’t care? Now beat it, I’ve got a business to run.

Because the NBA also has a fashion division, Westbrook also won a trophy for Best Style (seriously). But he took home nothing for this play below, which is far and away the most impressive Westbrook moment of the season. It will go down in basketball history as the time the refs finally called traveling on him, and it took him picking up the ball and walking seven steps with it for them to do it.

What makes it so great is that it came directly after Kevin Durant’s 3-pointer, and the camera was on Durant when the call was made.

I’m told that there are so many reasons that Westbrook should not be the MVP that there literally is not enough space here to list them all. And this is the internet. But let’s start a list anyway.

* Ball hog.
* Mediocre shooter.
* Puts stats above team results.
* OKC can’t run an organized offense when he’s improvising all the time.
* Offense comes to a halt when he’s on the bench.
* Too emotional.
* Defense? Please.

But I guess it depends how the league defines MVP. And there really is no definition — it’s strictly stats-based, I suppose. Because if the criteria is “most valuable to their team’s success,” Kawhi Leonard should have won. I’d also be fine with LeBron winning it, because he’s obviously great, and the Cavaliers utterly stunk when he wasn’t on the floor. I’d even vote for Steph Curry before Westbrook, because the Warriors didn’t miss a step while Durant was injured, thanks to him.

But to many, NBA basketball is not a team game. Players like Westbrook and James Harden are adored for their offensive skill and nothing else. OK, fine. Like I said, this award barely interests me.

You’d have to be pretty cold, however, not to admire Westbrook’s acceptance speech on Monday:

That was cool.

But that’s going to have to hold him, because no team with Westbrook as a centerpiece is ever going to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy.