Kevin Love reveals how he knew Wizards star Russell Westbrook would be ‘special’
Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love knew Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook would become a great player in the NBA. After all, it was apparent in their early days in UCLA that Brodie is a special talent.
Before the Cavs take on the surging Wizards on Friday, Love opened up on his first impression of Westbrook when they played together for the Bruins in 2007-08. He then shared a story on how the athletic guard dominated an on-campus pickup game that included several NBA players–which was the exact moment he knew Russ was on his way to greatness.
“We had three courts, 10 on each court, so 30 players. Typically we had a team of five UCLA guys, maybe a mix of us and USC guys,” Love said, per Mike Deprisco of NBC Sports Washington. “But outside of that, it was all pros, it was all NBA players. There were so many pros that he went against, so many bigs that he challenged at the rim.
“I can remember [Westbrook] catching one off the defensive glass, pulling it down, bringing it up the court, surveying what he had and kind of crossing over going to the left, finishing up above the rim and I said, ‘Wow, this guy is gonna be really special.'”
Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook spent only one season together in UCLA before entering the 2008 NBA Draft. Interestingly, they were taken just minutes apart, when the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Westbrook with the fourth overall pick before the Minnesota Timberwolves took Love fifth overall.
While Love has since become a champion with the Cavs in 2016, Westbrook continues to make history in the NBA. In fact, just recently, the Wizards star became the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles after surpassing Oscar Robertson’s record of 181.
A lot has been said about Westbrook’s lack of championship to pair along his absurd numbers, but despite that, one thing is clear: Westbrook is an all-time great and will go down as a Hall of Famer when his career ends.