Russell Westbrook is the LA Lakers’ latest Hall of Famer. But it’s important to put into perspective just how great Russ is as a human being.
The internet is filled with negativity when it comes to NBA basketball. But this syndrome becomes considerably worse when we begin associating Russell Westbrook to it.
There doesn’t seem to be a valid reason to ever hate a superstar player. All of those reasons hold doubly true for Russell Westbrook. This man is all hustle, all heart on the court and off it.
He’s the definition of a team man – though his haters would beg to differ – and he’s shown it all career long. When you talk to any of Westbrook’s teammates, past or present, all they’ll say about him is positive stuff.
But fans are obsessed with ‘winning basketball’, true shooting percentages and efficiencies. Many of them seem to think that because Russ is a low-percentile jump shooter, he’s also a correspondingly terrible person. And that couldn’t be further than the truth.
When Russell Westbrook gifted OKC Thunder beat writer a Maclaren stroller
Thunder sideline reporter Lesley McCaslin was often given off-putting answers by the Brody in her initial years. She made it a point to challenge Westbrook on his clipped answers. “I have to ask you these questions,” McCaslin said, “and you’ve got to help me out.”
Westbrook respected McCaslin’s candor and willingness to go the extra mile to do her job properly. McCaslin was pregnant during the spring of 2016, and Westbrook pestered her about when she was starting maternity leave.
She didn’t understand why he was so interested. Finally, after a flight from San Antonio to Oklahoma City, Westbrook led McCaslin through the airport parking lot and popped the trunk of his car. Inside was a Maclaren stroller.
“He’s more human than people would ever think,” McCaslin says. “He just doesn’t want you to know that.” When McCaslin thanked Nina for picking out the stroller, soon to be occupied by baby Hunter, Westbrook’s wife laughed. “That wasn’t me,” she said. “That was all Russell.”