Kendrick Perkins hints that Russell Westbrook has become too self-absorbed
For every moment of greatness Russell Westbrook has with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he has another that frustrates the heck out of his teammates and the fans. When Westbrook is under control and not trying to force the issue, he is one of the best point guards in the NBA. On Christmas Day against the Miami Heat, he was not that guy.
Westbrook scored 21 points, but he was only 5-for-19 from the field. He turned the ball over five times while recording only three assists. He also tried to draw a foul shooting a three-pointer with the game on the line and didn’t get the call, so he threw a fit that resulted in a technical and sealed the win for Miami. After the game, Kendrick Perkins made some comments that were almost certainly directed at Westbrook.
“I just feel like … we just got to start getting back to who we are as individuals,” Perk told The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry. “Turning off the TV and stop looking at articles on ourselves and start just losing ourselves in the team a little bit more, then the sky’s the limit.
“We just got to start knowing what got us here and what each guy did to get us to this point. We just got to make sure we start knowing who we are and what we are and what we mean to this team as individuals and the rest will take care of itself.”
Two seasons ago, a Thunder veteran reportedly said that he believes Westbrook thinks he’s a better player than Kevin Durant. L.B. wrote at the time that he had a hunch the player was Perk, and these comments would seem to support that theory.
For the most part, Perkins is right. The Thunder play their best stretches of basketball when Westbrook focuses on being a point guard who can score — not a scorer who also happens to run the point. Fortunately for Oklahoma City, it’s still very early in the season. Oh yeah, and Westbrook is only 24 years old.