Doug Collins can see aspects of Michael Jordan in Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan are in large part, two totally different players. Westbrook’s jumper pales in comparison to Jordan’s always money shot. And Jordan’s defense was elite, while Westbrook remains a solid yet not stellar defender. But the two do have a few similarities as well.
Both Jordan and Westbrook are known for their aerial attacks on the rim. And the two also have a non-stop motor and the desire to win by any means necessary. This aspect of Westbrook is where former NBA player, coach, and now television analyst Doug Collins sees the similarities with Jordan. Collins coached Jordan during his stints with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, so he definitely knows what he is talking about.
“I know there’s nights, as much energy as he’s got, he’s got to show up and maybe feel like he doesn’t have it,” Collins said. “But he finds a way to do it. That’s what I said about Michael Jordan when I coached Michael. I saw games where I said, ‘Where’s the energy going to come from? The thought of performing and doing it, he always found a way.
“That’s why I think Russell has so much respect around the league and from a lot of the former players. Playing 82 games used to be sort of a badge of courage, and I understand all the rest and stuff that goes with it. But Michael Jordan played 82 games when he was 40 years old for me at Washington. He was the only guy who played 82 games. The great ones, they love to play.”
Westbrook truly loves to play and leaves it all out on the court all the time. This is quite similar to Jordan as Collins points out, especially since Westbrook’s endurance is unrivaled in the NBA today.
This similarity may not be lost on Jordan as well. After all, Jordan picked Westbrook to wear his Jordan Brand shoes and even gave the Thunder superstar his own signature line.
Jordan and Westbrook may be vastly different players but their similarities are why the Thunder All-Star is one of the best players in the league and is a leading candidate for the MVP this season.