Why a Russell Westbrook-Boston marriage would be a unique fit
Ever since Kevin Durant decided to leave Oklahoma City and complete the NBA's latest superpower on America's birthday, pundits and fans have been trying to figure out what the Thunder should do with Russell Westbrook.
Of the teams many anticipate will vie for the services of the 2016 All-NBA first team guard via trade, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics have emerged as the two most likely trade partners based on their current collection of assets.
Born in Long Beach, California, the Lakers would offer the appeal of coming home. Combined that with his fashionista desires and being afforded to live a lifestyle that would serve as a complete 180 from Oklahoma City, Los Angeles not only have a strong case for acquiring Westbrook, but more importantly, they would have a legitimate shot at signing the darling of 2017 free agency class long term.
Boston's candidacy is more basketball related. But when I think of Westbrook and the prospects of him playing for the Celtics, his game isn't the idea that excites me the most. So this is less about who and what the Celtics can offer in a trade or how well would Westbrook operate under Brad Stevens, but rather the delight of seeing Westbrook in a sports town like Boston.
Boston has seen their fare share of stars and interesting personalities, but I'm not sure its seen quite the combination of Russ being Russ.
And by Russ being Russ, I mean this:
Passionate isn't a strong enough word to describe Russ. It's more like the 6'3" embodiment of an earthquake rumbling, a typhoon spinning and a volcano erupting all at the same time with each foray to the basket.
How will the people of Boston react when Russ thumps his chest, thunders (no pun intended) down a couple of finger guns after a made triple and lets loose a roar loud enough for Maine to hear? Thanks to Kevin Garnett, Boston does have recent experience with this. But there's more.
Despite KG's emotion on the floor, he largely handled the media with professionalism. Russ, on the other hand, has no problem simply rattling off "great execution" in a win and "we were out-executed" in a loss. Pictured above is the look of a man who has no time for explaining the minutiae of a NBA game.
Russ is a "both teams played hard" all-star; spitting out cliches that would make Bill Belichick proud. There's been other Boston athletes, like Manny Ramirez and Randy Moss, who didn't have much use for the media, but none regularly make them look as stupid as Russ.
Ladies and gentleman, pictured above is Indignant Russ, the funniest Russ of them all. With classics "No more questions for you, bro" or my favorite "What?!?," I'm constantly checking Apple Music for Russ' Greatest Hits album to drop.
Can you imagine Russ dropping an impromptu freestyle after a hot-take-filled column from Shaughnessy or after agreeing on how awful everything is, a Felger and Mazz scream-off segment?
And Lord, please let Russ and Tanguay cross paths. He's unapologetically Russ, all day and all night.
But let's not get it twisted. The best part of Russ being Russ is his jaw-dropping athleticism. Without reservation, Russ would be, pound for pound, the best athlete to ever play in Boston. Gronk and Moss are probably in the conversation, and while this was well before my time, there's enough video evidence for Bill Russell to join in as well, but I've never seen someone who is as fast, quick, explosive, with as much jumping abilityand fast-twitch muscle fiber while possessing a nonstop motor like Russ.
Undoubtedly, the best player on the planet is LeBron James. James is and has always been an athletic freak, but we've seen him gassed and tired. I can't say the same for Russ. The motor runs as well in the beginning of games as it does in the end. That's a good enough argument closer for me.