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The Whiteboard: Russell Westbrook is a spectacle

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He’s brash and bold, with the awe-inspiring, slack-jaw inducing illustriousness of a shooting star. From his avant-garde pregame fashion choices to the Mount Vesuvius ferocity with which he plays. Though despite the volcanic intensity, loyalty in a time of heightened player movement and unapologetic sense of self, people on the internet mostly trash him since people on the internet are mostly trash.

Last night, Westbrook became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to post a 20-20-20. Westbrook dedicated his special performance to recently-slain L.A. rapper, Nipsey Hussle.

“That wasn’t for me. That was for my bro. That was for Nipsey,” Westbrook said after the game, because, again, he’s the best.

It’s fitting Chamberlain was the last one to post a 20-20-20 since both are synonymous with gaudy stats and not always associated with winning. In many ways, Russ is this generation’s Wilt. Both are among the most physically unique and imposing players that ever graced the NBA.

Nobody else alive could put up last night’s line, except maybe (MAYBE) LeBron James. And nobody in the league could consistently do what he does on a nightly basis. This year marks his third consecutive season averaging a triple-double. No one’s even done that once in the nearly six decades since the Big O.

Westbrook’s divisive, I get that. He’s having one of the worst shooting seasons ever. Detractors say his style of play isn’t conducive to winning basketball. But he should be celebrated, not dissected. If you haven’t read it, this piece by Brian Phillips perfectly captures the Westbrook experience way better than I can.

Like most things in the present, Westbrook’s not appreciated to the level he should be. Once he’s gone, blog boys and girls far and wide will wax poetic about his otherworldly abilities. His shortcomings will be footnotes instead of the prime focus. His peerless capacity of filling the entire box score will be missed.

Every game with him is a roller coaster. Cynics need to just stop asking questions and learn to enjoy the ride. Next time you watch Westbrook play, remember to smell the flowers instead of looking for the weeds.

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