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1st time Kevin Love knew Lakers star Russell Westbrook would be ‘special’

kevin love, russell westbrook, lakers

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook’s path to NBA superstardom could be seen a long way coming, at least from those who were close to the Long Beach native. The Lakers star played his college ball at UCLA, and was teammates with fellow NBA star Kevin Love. When asked about what he saw from Westbrook during his college days, Love could not have given his former teammate a higher compliment.

Speaking with Channing Frye on Bleacher Report’s Full-Bodied, Love revealed he knew Westbrook would be a “special” talent from the moment he first met him.


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While sitting down with Frye, his former teammate, Love described the first time he saw Russ playing at the men’s gym at UCLA. Love mentioned how the likes of Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett would often practice at this gym, but admitted to being particularly impressed by the play of Westbrook. He described one move Westbrook made on the court that left him saying, “Wow… he’s gonna be special.”

Westbrook and Love were teammates for the Bruins during the 2007-08 season and helped lead the team to the National Semifinal of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to the Memphis Tigers, led by Derrick Rose. Talk about a trip down memory lane.

That season was Westbrook’s sophomore year and Love’s freshman campaign. The two were the leaders of the elite UCLA squad that also featured future NBA players in Darren Collison and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Westbrook provided season averages of 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, while Love averaged 17.5 points and 10.9 boards.

Love’s analysis of Westbrook ended up being pretty spot-on, considering the tremendous career Brodie has enjoyed in the NBA.