Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook won the NBA MVP in 2017. He’s also averaging a triple-double for the third straight season. Despite all that, he gets a lot of criticism for his play. Some of it is warranted (bad shooting/turnovers), but it’s hard to discredit his abilities.
The good news for Thunder fans is, according to Westbrook himself, this doesn’t change anything.
Russell Westbrook on if he uses criticism as motivation: “No. For what? I don’t need someone to motivate me to wake up and come to work to do my job.” pic.twitter.com/3CZtUJtpGl
— Erik Horne (@ErikkHorne) February 13, 2019
Westbrook has always been seen as an extremely passionate player. You need to be passionate when you’re a 6’3″ wrecking ball.
Due to that, it wouldn’t be crazy to think he’s one that listens to the media closely. Being able to drown out the noise around him is a major positive though.
The quote Erik Horne used in his tweet was perhaps the most telling part of the short clip.
“I don’t need somebody to motivate me to be able to wake up and come to work to do my job.”
That’s exactly what you want to hear from a player – especially a superstar. No outside noise is going to motivate him more than he already is. Westbrook goes out there and plays 100% every night and doesn’t need someone to get him to flip that switch.
The Thunder are currently one of the hottest teams in the NBA – having won 11-of-their-last-12. Westbrook and Paul George have led the way during that stretch that’s seen them jump to third in the Western conference with a 37-19 record.
Despite the hot streak, and 10 straight triple-doubles, Westbrook has caught heat lately. Poor shooting (under 40% in each of the last four games), and turnovers (16 turnovers in last two games including 10 in one) have been the main reasons for that.
Russell Westbrook is clearly helping the Thunder win though, and that’s all that matters. At least now we know he’s not going to let the criticism change his game in any way.