Russell Westbrook is no stranger to criticism for his on-court performance – criticism which most would agree has at times been over the top. But a consistent theme throughout the course of his career has been the adulation of his teammates, with glowing reports of what he is like to be on a team with coming from many of those who he has played with.
In the lead up to the NBA training camp, a prime example of why has come to light. The former MVP reportedly organized a mini camp for the members of the Los Angeles Clippers roster, and generously bought each and every one of them an iPhone 15s.
Of course, having earned over $300 million during his career, the financial outlay isn't likely a huge deal for Westbrook, but nonetheless the willingness to do it and moreover the thought to provide a gift which nobody would deem necessary is indicative of what so many of his teammates have said about him in the past.
It was only a few weeks ago that young Lakers' star Austin Reaves gave a glowing endorsement of Westbrook as a teammate, saying he was “one of my favorite teammates I've ever had.” Reaves told a story of when he had COVID-19 and Westbrook reached out multiple times throughout the course of the week to check if he needed anything, before going on to say “As far as a person, you won't get anyone better.”
His oftentimes inefficient style of play and his previously combative approach to the media have meant that Russell Westbrook has been on the receiving end of plenty of vitriol during his career, but if his teammates – who, let's be honest, probably know best – are to be believed, most of it is undeserved. This latest act of generosity is just another example of why.